The immediate past Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, has expressed his disappointment over missing out of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial list. Shittu said he expected to make the cut for a second term but he was shocked that President Buhari replaced him.
Shittu, who has no professional experience in the field of communication and had been a lawyer and politician for 40 years, said he expected to be reappointed, however, his name was dropped for Sunday Dare from Oyo State, who is the current Minister for Youth and Sports. He was replaced by as Communication Minister by Isa Pantami.
Out of the 43 Ministers appointed to lead President Buhari’s ‘Next Level’ agenda, Shittu was one of the 18 ministers that was not reappointed. He wished he had been given other opportunities to serve, but since he’s unable to, his law certificate and experience would come in handy now.
“Of course, I expected that I would be reappointed (as a minister) but when it didn’t happen, as a Muslim, it didn’t take me five minutes before I accepted that it’s the will of God.
“And I have also found comfort in a Quranic verse when God promised that what is to come later is better than what is with you now.
“So for me, it says we must accept that there is always something better with God which he gives to his beloved.
“I see myself as a beloved of God.
“I have come a long way and I have served at the state and national levels and the experience that I have garnered over the last three and half years cannot be purchased from the stores or from the market.”
According to Shittu, whatever has a beginning will necessarily have an end.
“And it is not how long one stays in public office but how well you can distinguish yourself.
“I want to thank God that I am one politician who has a second address in the sense that, if I am not a minister, I will be doing some other productive things which will also contribute to national development.
“Of course, I would have wished that I had other opportunities to serve. I believe the chapter of my public service is not closed.
“By the grace of God, I will continue to be relevant in national development.
“As a lawyer of about 40 years, I now have my chambers opened in Abuja. So now, I am back in practice.”
No surprises: While Shittu’s failure to make the list was surprising to him, it, however, wasn’t much of a surprise to Nigerians. Apart from not being a technocrat, Shittu was a controversial figure in the last cabinet of President Buhari.
He was accused of skipping the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). The same certificate issue cost former Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, her position following claims of forgery.
Shittu was also disqualified by his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), after aspiring for the governorship seat of Oyo State in the last election.
Shittu left a mark: Despite being a controversial figure, during his tenure as Minister of Communication, the contribution of the Nigerian Communications Commission to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose to 10.5% as at June 2018, from 9.1% in 2016.
The NCC also introduced a short code – 2442, to stop unsolicited SMS and 622 in cases where complaints made to network providers are not attended to. Also, during his time, one of the biggest fine ever placed on a telecommunications company was approved.
The NCC fined MTN Nigeria N1.04 trillion for failure to deactivate 5.2 million unregistered and improperly registered SIM cards from its network. Although the fine was later cut to N330 billion in exchange for MTN Nigeria listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
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