"No matter the criticisms of public office holders, there are still role models". With these opening remarks, the 51-member countries African Students Union Parliament (ASUP) recently honoured the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Dr. Eugene Ikemefuna Juwah with the Pan-African Servant Leadership Award for his hard work and dedication to national service.
The event which took place in Abuja was described by the students who were led by the Speaker of the Parliament, Mr Larota Chekibe (University Du Kokodi, Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire), Mr. Abotik Kwame Paul (University of Ghana, Legon), Mr Nse Udoh Donald (Nasarawa State University, Keffi), Miss Oyewoga Bilikis (Federal University of Technology, Minna), Mr. Nwankwo Henry Nkem (Nassarawa State University, Keffi) and Miss Titana Angel Ngume (University of Duala, Cameroun) as one of its finest moments.
The speaker who made the presentation on behalf of his colleagues, spoke in French, saying the Parliament took time to scrutinize Juwah who has committed himself to service for the common good of the people in accordance with the Pan-African Ideology by using his good office as CEO of NCC to implement policies that have;
- Provided a level playing field for telecom providers in Nigeria;
- Made the telecom industry in Nigeria one of the best in Africa and around the world;
- Protected the consumers without compromising the rights and interests of service providers; and
- Protected and promoted the interests of consumers against unfair practices such as tariff among others.
The Speaker said the youths and students of Africa wish to humbly request that the "brains here in NCC shouldn’t channel their intellectual ability and effort towards the development of the telecoms industry in Nigeria alone, but should extend same to other African countries through exchange programmes and regional conferences because the challenges facing the continent are similar and for us to build the Africa of our collective dreams, we must learn to imbibe and embrace the Pan-African ideology if we view our challenges as the same".
The Speaker said the youths need role models whose dedication to duty is exemplary, and Juwah fits perfectly into this bill. "All men were born equal but destiny makes the difference. While some privileged few bask in the euphoria of contentment and hedonism, rare kinds like Juwah have chosen a path that mitigate the adverse effect of the economic imbalance, astute dedication to effective service delivery and Spartan Patriotism".
Describing Juwah as "detribalised Nigerian, lover of students/youths, a charismatic personality with credible credentials of efficient service delivery, high administrative acumen, financial prudence and community service", the students said "these are unsung realities that mark him as an iconic patriot in our African Society worthy of emulation".
The students recalled that the decision to name Juwah for this award was applauded by all the members of Parliament at a conference held at the University of Livingstonia, Malawi.
Receiving the award, a visibly touched Juwah, said "this award has raised the stakes for higher commitment and dedication to service delivery in our usual transparent and robust regulation of the telecoms sector in Nigeria".
Juwah who received the award in the presence of NCC Director, Human Capital and infrastructure Group, Mr. Fidelis Onah, Director, Finance Services, Mrs Abigail Sholanke, Director, Policy Competition and Economic Analysis, Ms Josephine Amuwa, Head, Public Relations, Mr. Reuben Muoka, Special Assistant (Media) to the EVC, Mr. Okoh Aihe and Head, Media Management, Mr Sonny Aragba-Akpore among others told the students that in 2014 alone, "We at the Commission also went out of our way to intervene in spreading digital penetration in Nigeria which is our core mandate. I am happy you mentioned scholarships to students because last year alone the Commission expended the sum of N1bn (One Billion Naira) for various projects in Nigerian Universities and Secondary Schools through the provision of laptops, desktops, digital content as well as internet access".
"This year, we shall empower a number of Universities and Polytechnics with 1000 tablets each as learning tools so that when the students graduate, they will be digitally empowered to excel anywhere in the world.
The Commission is among other things mandated to ensure tariffs are fair as well as ensure the consumers benefit from the quality of services put out by operators.
The Commission has also been a major contributor to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) through extended intervention and aiding the Federal Government to increase funding to Universities.
USPF has also intervened by linking up university campuses with fibre so that modern teaching methods will be brought into our universities.
"Within our mandate, we have assisted the youth to achieve digital education lifestyle and they now have educational experience".
The EVC in his closing remarks said he was impressed by the level of spread of the Parliament and said he was humbled and excited to do more by this award.