The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is presently enmeshed in a promotion scandal and secret recruitments where the board of the agency and its Executive Vice-Chairman, Prof Umar Danbatta, as well as the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, have been fingered.
Sources close to the board told SaharaReporters on Saturday that there are several allegations of favouritism and peddling of scores, especially against Danbatta.
Other top sources revealed that a couple of weeks ago, despite President Buhari’s claims of lack of jobs for graduates, Danbatta and Pantami recruited children of influential politicians including that of the Gombe State governor.
“They did this secret recruitment, which is all in an effort for Pantami to gain favours so that the governor can lobby Tinubu to retain him,” the source said.
According to another competent source, Danbatta also allegedly helped one of his “girls”, Helen with the assistance of another board member from his state to secure promotion for the woman to the post of a director.
This was despite her coming second position in the interviewing process, even though other candidates had higher scores during the interview process.
The source also alleged that the board member boasted about his influence with the Minister, Pantami, and that they both supported the promotion appointment.
SaharaReporters learnt that the allegations sparked concerns about transparency and fairness in the NCC promotion process, with calls for the release of the interview scores and a review of the promotion decision.
“Some are also questioning whether Pantami is not involved in the alleged scandal and other illegal recruitment practices. Such behaviours raise critical questions about the ethical conduct of Danbatta with respect to transparency in the recruitment and promotion of personnel,” the source added,
“In the following days, we will release more on contracts, his son and the result,” another source added.
SaharaReporters had since September 2021 exposed how the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, also awarded Value-Added Service contracts to himself, to Tinubu, among others.
SaharaReporters had learnt that others who benefited from the dubious contracts include the late Isa Funtua, a long-time political associate of President Muhammadu Buhari.
An investigation by SaharaReporters had showed further that Dare awarded the contracts when he was the Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Others awarded the multi-billion naira contracts by Dare had included Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NCC; Naomi Adenuga; Senator Ifeanyi Ararume.
A top source had said, “The current Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare single-handedly gave some corrupt Nigerians the NCC licenses when he was the Executive Commissioner.
“He gave himself a slot and also gave Naomi Adenuga for Globacom. He gave Bola Tinubu a slot and also Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman of the NCC a slot. He also gave Senator Ifeanyi Ararume.”