•Senate screening of commission members stalled
Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Chairman-designate Prof. Akintunde Akinwande may have declined the nomination offered him by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Akinwande’s absence at the Senate session yesterday stalled the screening of other nominees.
A competent source said Akinwande turned down the nomination “because he was not consulted before the nomination was made”.
In a list of nominees circulated by the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, records of date of birth, qualification, specialisation, experience and certificate of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) were missing in Akinwande’s column.
Of the seven nominees for the board appointment, only Akinwande had no records of his credentials.
The source added that Akinwande was doing a project at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
“We also learnt that enough consultation was not made before the man was nominated. We were informed that the nominee may have turned down his nomination,” the source said.
The source added that Akinwande failed to avail himself to the Department of State Services (DSS) for security checks.
Chairman of the Committee Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe told reporters that there was no way the screening could go on in the absence of the chairman-designate.
Abaribe noted that the privatisation of the electricity sector was meant to improve the sector.
He added that the inauguration of the board of NERC was key to solving the problems in the sector.
“Regrettably, when members of the committee assembled to screen the nominees made by President Muhammadu Buhari, we were told that the chairman designate was unavoidably absent. The Presidential liaison who brought the nominees informed us that the chairman was unavoidably absent,” Abaribe said
Abaribe also said there was no way the committee could go on with the screening without the chairman designate.
He noted that since the nomination was made over three months ago, the Presidency should have known whether the chairman designate would attend the screening or not.
He said “the commission is vital and cannot function without a chairman”.
Abaribe, who assured that the committee was ready to screen the nominees, added: “We cannot screen them until we have a formal communication from the Presidency”.
Other nominees for the board appointment included Sanusi Garuba (Vice Chairman), Nathan R. Shatti (commissioner), Dr. Moses Arigu (commissioner), Dafe C. Akpeneye (commissioner), Prof. Frank Okafor(commissioner) and Musiliu O. Oseni(commissioner).
Only on Tuesday, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, an ambassadorial nominee from Plateau State, declined the nomination for lack of consultation.