Ihuoma Chiedozie, Abuja
Indications have emerged that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, plans to move his office to the Communications and Digital Economy Complex, the building from which the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission was allegedly chased away by gunmen.
Currently, Pantami’s office is among the office blocks housing the headquarters of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy within the Federal Secretariat Complex in Abuja.
Our correspondent learnt that the plan to move to the Communications and Digital Economy Complex, a new more modern structure located in the Mbora area of the Federal Capital Territory, was behind the eviction of the Diaspora commission from the building.
The building became the subject of an online squabble between Pantami and Chief Executive Officer of NIDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, after the later alleged that the minister ordered gunmen to throw her members of staff out of the complex.
The Nigerian Communications Commission, the original owners of the building, had accommodated NIDCOM in the complex.
The minister denied the accusation but Dabiri-Erewa maintained her grounds, noting that she suffered the harsh treatment because she is a woman.
She also alleged that office equipment belonging to NIDCOM was carted away.
However, investigation by our correspondent on Monday, revealed that Pantami might move his office to the Communications and Digital Economy Complex.
Multiple sources informed our correspondent that the decision to ‘clear’ parts of the building housing the diaspora agency was not unconnected with the minister’s plan to relocate his office from the Federal Secretariat to the Digital Economy Complex.
It was gathered that the fifth floor – the top floor of the building where NIDCOM had a temporary accommodation – is to house the minister’s office.
The Communications and Digital Economy Complex, a tastefully furnished and well-equipped building, was in March inaugurated by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The expansive Digital Economy Complex stands on its own in a serene environment.
The plan by the minister to relocate to the new complex may have informed the branding of the building to conform with the new identity of the ministry which Pantami came up with when he was appointed communications minister.