In the Information and Communications Technology industry in Nigeria, the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) is a key stakeholder and player. In their annual general meeting recently, they elected their new officials. The vibrant Engr Titi Omo-Ettu who has led the association into enviable height within these two years steps aside while Engr. Lanre Ajayi, the immediate past president of Nigeria Internet Group steps in to take the baton.
It is worthy to note that during the two-year tenure of Engr Titi, ATCON, the association has recorded many successes. ATCON within his tenure was able to move to their secretariat. Titi brought a lot of vibrancy, advocacy for members, constant engagement with the government on several issues, more visibility into the association.
Titi during his tenure moved for the unification of the industry into ICT by signing a MoU with Information Technology Association of Nigeria which at the time was criticized by many. Even in the on-going unified ICT policy document by the government, ATCON made a significant contribution to that.
Titi who understands the role of the media in the industry, organized quality training for Tech journalists and media practitioners in Nigeria in collaboration with ITAN. He is one passionate man that the industry is proud of anytime.
In a chat with him some time ago on the future of ATCON beyond him, he said” we have within these two years of our administration led a great foundation for anyone who will take the mantle of leadership of ATCON and I can assure you that they will have to improve on what we have done and in no distance time I wish to see ATCON move into their permanent building”
These and more of his achievement at ATCON was aptly captured in his thank You speech:
My Compatriots, as an active member of the Association I could not have asked for more from members in the two years that I served as President. I got all that I needed and I am most grateful for the overwhelming support.
I offered to serve as President for two major reasons: I noticed in 2010 that the fortunes of our industry might nose dive further if we allowed the apathy that normally attended our search for leadership to persist as I saw the Association might move in the wrong direction. I also wanted to establish a few frameworks which I considered the Association needed to strengthen itself especially at this time.
At almost every speech, I asserted that the mandate of our Association is to protect investments in our industry. At no time, not even once, did I receive flak for saying so and I take that to mean that our members have accepted that position as our mandate since we have never really articulated it clearly anywhere except in an unwieldy statement of objectives in our Constitution.
I therefore move that we formalise such mission statement by carefully reviewing and drawing a Vision and mission statement from it.
I believe in strong leadership, a strong National Executive Council and a strong Secretariat for our Association. While we had a record of getting strong leadership, we could not have said the same for the other two. We tried during this tenure to work towards strengthening the process of improving things.
I hope that we have moved our Secretariat permanently out of its being attached to the office of whoever was the President. And we will make it work to fend for itself and truly serve our interest. Although we did not move the Secretariat to an independent location immediately we assumed office two years ago, we did within the first three months when it was financially strong to pay for itself.
We could have moved it again to a more befitting and resourceful location during this tenure but we considered that we should allow our tenancy to run out and also allow my successor to take the initiative as one of his first assignments.
We developed frameworks for synergizing with industry players to implement our mandate and also to exercise leadership in moderating performance and service delivery within the industry by making input to reward processes for those who deserve it.
We also established a channel that aims at making us communicate among ourselves and with the world outside us and also offering our input and our voice as first to consider when Government takes decisions that bear on our investments.
Of course we also impressed it on Government that our opinion must always count and happily the Government listened to us. We shared mutual respect with our regulator and both profited from it.
We maintained cordial relationship with all other players and similar Associations in the economy and asserted our selves where we need to do so for the common good.
In all my experience, I have never served in an association where more than 25% of members pay their dues voluntarily. We recorded 70% in 2011 and have already done 40% as I write this in 2012. I could not have asked for more from members to equip us to do more.
Not less than 15 CEO’s of our members served on ad-hoc Committees which we had to raise to attend to urgent industry issues during the tenure. It is unprecedented in my experience that people offered so willingly to serve. In fact all memos we wrote to Government and to the Regulator during the tenure were written by different Committees of our CEO’s.
What else could a President have asked for?
Thank you, God bless and please do the same and even more with my successor.
We wish Engr.Titi Omo-Ettu(FNSE) the very best in his future engagement in the industry, and for the new executives led by Engr.Lanre Ajayi,they need to improve on the foundation that has been laid.