Following NEW AGE’s last Tuesday October 23 Publication with the headline, FAKE DEGREES ROCK NATCOM, the Director General, Maxwell Hinga Massaqoui called the Editor of NEW AGE to clarify the issues.
This came after he failed to respond to a text message and a call NEW AGE made to cross-check about his academic qualification before the first story was published.
Maxwell Hinga Massaqoui put the journalist in a panel of over six people including the Deputy Director General and two of their lawyers in which several questions about where such information was from were asked but the editor of NEW AGE declined to comment.
He showed an unverified Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from two US universities and then asked the Editor about his own qualification for which the Editor also declined to comment.
The Editor then noticed that the qualification which the new NATCOM DG claims to hold was not compatible for what is needed at the helm of NATCOM.
He asked the editor why he did not cross-check the message and the editor responded that he made reasonable efforts to get his own side of the story as a text message was even sent to him
Maxwell Massaquoi saw the message in his phone and responded that he is a busy man and could not reply to any text message, adding that if the editor was saying that he is the one with fake degree.
The editor responded that the reason he was there was to get his own side, having failed to make an earlier response and the Editor asked if his job was advertised, Maxwell Massaqoui responded, “Go and asked the President.”
It is the chairman that is feeding you with all this because he has requested for all of us to submit our academic credentials.
The Editor replied, “those are your words. I did not say your chairman gave me the information.”
A female lawyer of the company then said that she will be going out because the statement that are coming from the DG are political and she would not want to be involved in a political battle.
The lawyer further told the DG to use another medium to publish his academic credentials but one Mark and the Deputy said that the DG should not do that.
All the director generals in the past at NATCOM have been people with telcommunication engineering qualifications for which this current director general has no knowledge as stipulated in Section 14 sub-section 2 of the NATCOM Act of 2006.
Well-meaning Sierra Leoneans have blamed the President for causing serious confusion because he did not allow the board of NATCOM to advertise the job of Director General and Deputy Director General so that competent people with requisite qualification will be appointed.
That the action of the President to appoint the DG and the Deputy DG; makes a professional job political.
Efforts to get the Chairman of NATCOM, Prince Harding on the issue proved futile.
Detail on this in subsequent editions.