A nominee of President Muhammadu Buhari, for the chairmanship position of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Prof. Akintunde Akinwande has allegedly rejected his nomination for the plum job.
This happened barely 24 hours after two other nominees of the President rejected their nominations for appointment as noncareer ambassadors. Barely 24 hours after the Senate made public the list of persons nominated by President Buhari for consideration and confirmation for appointment as non-career ambassadors, former Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs PauIine Tallen (Plateau) and Dr.Usman Bugaje (Katsina) had rejected the offer.
President had a couple of weeks ago through a letter addressed to the President of the Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, requested the confirmation of a 7-man members and chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to be headed by Prof. Akintunde I. Akinwande (South West).
Members of the Commission are Sanusi Garuba, Vice Chairman (North-West), Nathan R. Shatti, Commissioner (North-East), Dr Moses Arigu, Commissioner (North Central), Dafe C. Akpeneye, Commissioner (South-South). Others include Prof. Frank Okafor, Commissioner(South- East) and Dr Musiliu O. Oseni, Commissioner (South-West).
The President of the Senate had after reading the letter on the floor of the Chamber last week, directed the Senate Committee on Power to screen the nominees and report back for consideration and approval.
However, at the commencement of the screening of the nominees by Senator Ennyinnaya Abaribe-led Committee, it was discovered that the chairman- designate of the commission, Akinwande was absent from the venue.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters (Senate), Senator Solomon Ita Enang, who led the nominees to the screening venue, could not give sufficient reasons to justify the absence of Akinwande from the exercise. Consequently, the Committee resorted to a short closed-door meeting of the chairman and members of the committee on how to handle the seeming embarrassing development.
Making public the resolution of the committee shortly after the meeting, Senator Abaribe said that the screening had been suspended sine-dine based on the absence of Akinwande, saying that the position of the chairman of the commission was key to the operations of NERC.
Fielding questions from Journalists outside the venue of the exercise, Abaribe expressed misgivings with the absence of the chairman-designate, wondering whether Akinwande was not consulted for the job before being listed as the new chairman of the commission.