‘OGA IGE’ TOOK US TO THE PROMISED LAND
“The fellows who conceived the idea that time was up that a PAPER to argue to Government that LIBERALISATION of Nigeria’s TELECOM INDUSTRY (of that time) was the panacea to poor phone services also said the iron should be bent while it was red hot.
Two things made the iron ‘red-hot’ in 1991. One was the common knowledge that Gen Ibrahim Babangida, Military President at the time, gave his Ministers a free hand and a listening ear on matters of development. The other was that incumbent Minister of Communications (much later, and Transport), ‘Oga Ige’ (Engr Olawale Adeniji Ige) was our own, a believer, and a go-getter. And somebody said “With those two facts as our asset, if we shoot at this moment, we won’t miss”.
The paper was tidied up and presented to Minister Olawale Ige. The remaining is history.
Suffice to say the Decree 75 of 1992 which liberalised the telecom industry and established the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) became law just as Oga Ige was completing his tenure as Minister. It was what changed the story of our phone system and only those who lived in those days and who are still alive today will appreciate the magnitude of the Change.”
(The above text is taken from
“Adventure into Nigeria’s Telecommunications Development” which is yet to be published)
Oga Ige, Fellow, Nigerian Academy of Engineering, Doyen of our Telecom Industry, many happy returns of your birthday sir.
I was at the Hymns of Praise, sumptuous lunch and a vibrant entertainment earlier today at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. It was a class event of its own genre. More content than talks and razmataz. Who knows? Maybe Oga Ige’s children are also engineers or they missed engineering narrowly.
It is not all the time one gets to be at events of men who are truly big.