Reports reaching NEW AGE indicate that despite efforts by the Chairman of National Telecommunication Commission (NATCOM) Prince Alex Harding who happens to be the Chairman of the ruling SLPP, to ensure that all staff of NATCOM submit their academic credentials, the NATCOM Director General Maxwell Hinga Massaqoui has refused to do so.
It is believed that almost all the workers at NATCOM have submitted their academic credentials with the exception of the DG who is believed to have state house connections.
Before his appointment as NATCOM DG, Massaqoui was working for a World Bank funded project at the Ministry of Finance where he (Massaquoi) is believed to have been sacked for similar reasons.
That he was among the first staff that set up NATCOM but was also sacked on similar grounds which is the question on the lips of the workers of the institution.
After he failed to respond to a text message about his alleged fake academic credentials, NATCOM DG summoned NEW AGE to his office in which he called up to five directors to also attend.
He presented an unverified academic qualifications of Bachelor of Arts Degree in Science of Economic and a Masters of Business Administration Degree.
NEW AGE noticed that even the unverified academic credentials which the NATCOM DG showed is incompatible with section 14 sub section 2 of the Telecommunication Act of 2009 as amended which states, “no person shall be appointed Executive Secretary (Director General) unless he is a person of integrity and with extensive knowledge and experience in telecommunications and related fields.”
All other past Directors of the institution are people who are highly knowledgeable and experienced in telecommunication but when NEW AGE asked DG Massaqoui whether his job was advertised, he responded, “Go and ask the President.”
In this regard, well-meaning Sierra Leoneans are blaming the President, for making professional jobs political by appointing people who have academic qualifications clouded in doubt and controversies.
It is as a result of this, people are calling on the President to have a resident lawyer at State House who will be advising him on legal technicalities.
At the meeting with the NATCOM DG, a female lawyer of the commission asked DG Massaqoui to publish his degree.
Efforts to get the Chairman of NATCOM, Prince Alex Harding proved futile.
More on this story in subsequent editions.