By Tokunbo Adebayo
In a recent press statement, Isa Ali Pantami, the former Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, shamelessly proclaimed that he single-handedly raised the ministry’s quarterly revenue from a meager N51.3 million to a staggering N408.7 billion. This audacious claim, however, has been debunked by fact-checkers, exposing Pantami’s desperate attempt to rewrite history and secure a comeback as a minister under the new administration of Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The fact-check by the Cable Online Newspaper, however, provides an insight into Pantami’s pattern of deception, his habitual use of unverified statistics and dubious accomplishments throughout his career.
Pantami’s ascent to the position of Minister of Communications and Digital Economy was not surprising considering his track record of manipulating unverified statistics during his tenure as the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). Pantami would proudly claim to have saved the government billions of Naira without ever providing credible evidence or allowing independent verification of his alleged accomplishments. It is a disheartening reality that such misleading claims went unchallenged, allowing him to perpetuate his deceptive tactics.
During his time at NITDA, Pantami presented himself as a champion of cost-saving measures and technological advancements. However, the lack of transparency and verifiable evidence behind his claims raises serious doubts about the actual impact of his initiatives. The Nigerian public deserves factual information and honest assessments, not mere rhetoric and baseless assertions.
Pantami’s recent assertion of raising the ministry’s quarterly revenue from a paltry N51.3 million to an astonishing N408.7 billion exemplifies his desperation to regain power. The sheer audacity of this claim cannot be ignored, especially when fact-checkers, such as The Cable newspaper, swiftly revealed its falsehood. Pantami’s brazen attempt to deceive the public and bolster his image for personal gain is indicative of a man driven by self-interest, rather than genuine concern for the welfare of the nation.
It is important to emphasize that false claims about revenue generation not only mislead the public but also cast doubt on the overall credibility of the government and its ability to effectively manage public funds. Nigerians deserve leaders who can demonstrate transparency and accountability in financial matters, rather than resorting to grandiose yet unverified statements to further their own agendas.
Yet, the motivation behind Pantami’s blatant lies becomes evident when considering his desperate bid for a ministerial position in the administration of Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu. As a minister, Pantami would have the opportunity to exercise his influence and continue his deceptive practices and the regulatory capture of agencies under his supervision. His calculated attempt to inflate his achievements demonstrates a willingness to manipulate the truth, all in the pursuit of political favor and personal gain.
Pantami’s track record of using unverified statistics to bolster his image raises concerns about his integrity and suitability for public office. But we all know how his desperation to become use the title of “Professor” led to a serious standoff with ASUU which flatly rejected the appointment as fraudulent. Pantami has continued to shamelessly use the unmerited title to massage his inflated ego.
The Nigerian government therefore should prioritize the appointment of individuals who have a proven track record of transparency, honesty, and genuine dedication to the public interest. The appointment of individuals based on their propensity for manipulation and deception only serves to undermine public trust in the government and hampers the nation’s progress.
Pantami’s use of unverified statistics and deceptive tactics carries significant consequences. Such behavior erodes public trust and undermines the integrity of public office. When individuals entrusted with positions of power distort facts to suit their agendas, the entire nation suffers. The reliance on false claims to advance one’s his social climbing career only perpetuates a culture of dishonesty and hinders the progress and development of the country.
Tokunbo writes from Lagos.