Monday, July 4, 2022

Reuben Muoka Appointed NCC’s Public Affairs Director

Rueben Muoka.
Rueben Muoka.

The management of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has appointed Reuben Muoka, an innovative journalist and consummate public relations practitioner, as its new director of public affairs (DPA).

Muoka takes over from Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, who has assumed duties as the director, special duties department of the commission.

The new NCC spokesman was recently promoted to a substantive director, alongside Ismail Adedigba, now director of research and development (R&D) and Gwa-Tobi Mohammed, who has also assumed duties as director and secretary to the board of the commission.

In 2021, Muoka was appointed to head the special duties department, which superintends the international relations unit, emergency communication centres unit, the public-private partnership unit and the security services unit of the commission. He was promoted as director of the department before his current redeployment to lead the public affairs department, the arm of the commission mandated to manage the image and visibility of Nigeria’s telecom regulator and a leading light of the Nigerian public service.

Muoka is expected to bring his rich and versatile experience in both specialised and traditional journalism, public relations, integrated marketing communications (IMC), corporate communication and people management to bear on the commission’s vision to expand the frontiers of its public goodwill and the impact of its reputational assets.

A former deputy communications editor of the Vanguard Newspapers and former deputy general manager at MTS First Wireless (Nigeria’s first mobile telephone operator), Muoka joined the NCC in 2007 as a principal manager and was deployed to the public affairs department where he headed the media and public relations unit. He later rose from the rank of principal manager to the position of an assistant director in 2010 and, by 2015, as a deputy director, appointed to head the re-engineered public relations unit of PAD. In 2017, he was redeployed to the policy, competition and economic analysis department to head its economic analysis unit.

Muoka earned an M.Sc. degree in mass communication from the University of Lagos, specialising in public relations and advertising, where he had earlier completed a postgraduate diploma (PGD) in the same field. Much earlier, he had obtained a bachelor’s degree in performing arts at the University of Ilorin.

As a mark of his distinctive journalism career, Muoka received a fellowship from the Egyptian Embassy in Nigeria to undertake a Pan-African training and tour of Egypt in 1999, leading to an award of a continental diploma certificate in journalism at the instance of the Egyptian ministry of information and the African Journalists Union (AJU) in Cairo, Egypt.

The focused, innovative and illuminating coverage and analysis of the information and communications technology (ICT) in the pre and immediate post-liberalisation period of the telecom industry in Nigeria is credited to the insights of visionary journalists like Muoka, whose pioneering initiative led to the establishment and institutionalisation of the hi-tech desk in Vanguard Newspapers in the late ‘90s. As the chairman of the League of Communications Correspondents (LECCO), Muoka led his colleagues to give voice and focus to the advocacy for the liberalisation and deregulation of the telecom industry in Nigeria in the ‘90s.

During his active days in journalism at Vanguard Newspapers, Muoka served concurrently as Africa’s contributing editor to the London-based CommunicationsWeek for four years, beginning in 1998, when he undertook copious reportage of the African telecom landscape. The London-based magazine shared Muoka’s work to an enthusiastic global audience in a rare showcase of Africa’s promise as a flourishing point for the emergent converging telecommunications industry.

Between 1995 and 2001, Muoka leveraged his expertise to provide part-time public relations consultancy to notable companies and institutions in the telecommunications industry, including the Nigerian Mobile Communications Limited, Abuja; Multi-links Telecommunications Limited, Lagos; Satellite Telecommunications Limited, Lagos; Pulse Marketing Communications Ltd, Lagos; and the Nigerian Communications Commission, Abuja, years before he joined the commission as a staff.

Muoka is a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), a full member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (mnipr) and an associate member of the Registered Practitioners of Advertising (arpa), regulated by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).

In a statement personally signed by the NCC executive vice-chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, he heartily congratulated Mouka on behalf of the board and management of the commission on his new role and assured that he was looking forward to working closely with him and his team in his new department, as key internal stakeholders in the commission’s re-engineering processes to meet and surpass the Federal Government’s expectations for a robust telecommunications sector and a remarkably emergent digital economy.

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