ActionAid urges ICPC to probe telco over board appointment

2024-03-13 06:19:01

The Guardian

ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) has called on the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to urgently launch an investigation into the recent appointment of former government officials into the board of MTN Nigeria.

ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) has called on the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to urgently launch an investigation into the recent appointment of former government officials into the board of MTN Nigeria.

According to the social justice organisation, the inclusion of former government officials with regulatory, pensions and taxation authorities questions the transparency, accountability and ethical governance of the telecommunications company.

Country Director of AAN, Andrew Mamedu, raised concern over the appointment of former Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Ernest Ndukwe; former Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), IfuekoOkauru; former Minister of Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson and the pioneer Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of National Pension Commission (PENCOM), Muhammed Ahmad, into the board of the company.

He said: "It is unacceptable that MTN Nigeria, a company entrusted with providing essential telecommunications services to millions of Nigerians, would choose to stack its board with individuals, who have a history of regulatory oversight, pensions and taxation authorities. This move raises serious concern about the potential for backdoor negotiations and conflicts of interest, as well as the impact on the Nigerian community.

"By allowing former government officials, who were supposed to regulate MTN Nigeria, to occupy top positions on its board, there is a risk of regulatory capture and undue influence over regulatory decisions. This not only undermines the integrity of our institutions, but also jeopardises the interests of consumers, investors and shareholders."

ActionAid Nigeria demands that MTN Nigeria immediately reconsiders its board appointments and ensure that future appointments are made in a transparent and accountable manner, with due consideration given to the principles of diversity, independence and expertise.

It also urged NCC and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate the appointments and take appropriate action to hold MTN accountable for any breach of regulatory standards or corporate governance norms.

2024-03-13 News