Nigeria’s Ministry of Power has said Nigerians should query the immediate past leadership of the ministry for the current state of power sector despite President Muhammadu Buhari administration “concerted efforts.”
Aaron Artimas, who is power minister Sale Mamman’s spokesman, said that despite the huge resources Buhari “poured” into the power ministry for over four years, there has been no tangible result.
“All right-thinking Nigerians are aware that since assuming power in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari has poured billions of naira and attracted huge foreign investments into the power sector with the aim of improving the generation and distribution of electricity to Nigerians,” Artimas said.
“Nigerians should be asking why there was not much improvement in the sector after such concerted efforts by the government,” he said, adding that the ministry has no “tangible results” to show over four years.
The ministry was headed by Babatunde Fashola from 2015 to 2019. Fashola and Mamman are members of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress.
The statement, which has since been criticised by Nigerians, was a reaction to the uproar that characterised an appointment in the ministry.
In December, a former mid-level civil servant, Salihijo Ahmad, was appointed as the managing director and Chief Executive Officer of a crucial electrification agency, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).
The new REA boss is a former Level 12 public official at the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) which he is said to have exited in 2018. Although, the ministry claimed Ahmed has a “vast experience”.
However, critics say Ahmed is not qualified for such appointment and he was favoured due to his family links.
Premium Times reported that the new REA boss is the son of late Salihijo Mohammed Ahmed, a former managing director of Afri-Project Consortium. The late Ahmed was also a project consultant to the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) then headed by Buhari, who was appointed to the position by the then military ruler, Sani Abacha.
But Artimas said people criticising Ahmed’s appointment are “wailers” and also accused officials affected by the minister’s decision as people who “are not susceptible to relinquishing public office even after exhausting their welcome or in the face of apparent failure to perform.”
Artimas explained that at this level of national development, Nigerians should be thinking of performance instead of promoting trivial or extraneous sentiments on the pretext of criticising government actions.