From Fred Itua, Abuja
Few days after two ambassadorial nominees rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointments, Chairman-designate of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Professor Akintunde Akinwande, may have declined his nomination.
Akinwande’s absence at the Senate, yesterday, stalled the screening of other nominees.
A source in the committee told Daily Sun that “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 said they learnt Akinwande is carrying out a project at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States of America.
“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.
Another source said Akinwande also failed to present himself to the Department of State Services (DSS) for security checks.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe told reporters there was no way the screening could go on in the absence of the chairman-designate.
Abaribe said the privatisation of the electricity sector was meant to improve the sector. He added that the inauguration of the board of NERC is key to solving the problems of the sector.
“Regrettably, when members of the committee assembled to screen the nominees made by President Buhari, the Presidential Liaison Officer, who brought the nominees, informed us that the chairman was unavoidably absent,” Abaribe said.
Abaribe further 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.
“The commission is vital and cannot function without a chairman. We cannot screen them until we have a formal communication from the Presidency,” he said.
Other nominees for the board included, Sanusi Garba (Vice Chairman), Nathan R. Shatti (commissioner), Dr. Moses Arigu (commissioner), Dafe C. Akpeneye (commissioner), Prof. Frank Okafor(commissioner) and Musiliu O. Oseni(commissioner).