Adebayo Shittu: Here Goes The “Estacode Minister” Again, By Olabode Opeseitan

Someone needs to tell the Communication Minister, Adebayo Shittu to watch his unguarded utterances. Whatever their shortcomings, you cannot say ,”Who is Obasanjo? Who is IBB?” Of course they are not (and can NEVER play) God as Minister Shittu referenced. Even if he disagrees with their position, it is unacceptable for Shittu to talk about them in that disdainful manner. These are former leaders of the country and when Shittu was absolutely inconsequential in national politics (as he still is), Obasanjo in particular took It upon himself to team up with others to sell Buhari to a largely skeptical nation as a good product. Shittu and his ilks are exhibiting the same type of arrogance the now contrite PDP manifested in the build up to the 2015 presidential election. Gladly, Buhari himself, from what I gathered, does not want anybody to rubbish Obasanjo, IBB, Danjuma etc in recognition of the roles they played in facilitating his emergence as President in 2015. It is worrisome that one hears more about Shittu’s misadventures than his interventions in the highly critical communication sector. He needs to take a tutorial from his predecessor, Omobola Johnson to find out how she made such indelible imprints. Under Shittu’s watch, how has IT been used to drive the Nigerian economy as he promised? What significant move did he make to expedite the implementation of the national Broadband plan beyond what Johnson did? Even the digitization of broadcasting in Nigeria has been driven more by his Information and Culture counterpart, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. How has Shittu addressed the issues of multiple taxation, cybercrime and frequent summoning of telecom operators by legislators on the flimsiest of excuses? What has he done to facilitate the reduction of the price cap regime in telecoms from N50 to N20 as envisaged? At his inaugural meeting with the directors in his ministry, Shittu promised to turn things around by exploring the untapped potentials of the ICT sector as an alternative source of revenue for Nigeria. How has he made telecommunication the new cashcow for Nigeria as he pledged? Over 2 years in the saddle, I cannot see the phenomenal impact of Shittu in the communication sector. He claimed to have helped Nigeria earn $4 billion investment during one of his foreign shuttles but failed to say how and when he did this. Shouldn’t he be devoting more time to issues that will be of benefit to the nation than throwing tantrums at every turn? For me, this man has become a political liability PMB should offload at the earliest convenience. He is fast gathering airs that are insufferable to Buhari’s political interest, except if he is a deliberate attack dog, which I doubt. Shittu can only hurt Buhari’s political base as unfolding developments are showing. Even with binoculars, I cannot see him adding much value to Buhari either in governance or politics.

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