April 16, 2024

Nigerians hail Tinubu for sack of electricity agency boss over alleged N1.2bn fraud

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Adebayo Obajemu

Many Nigerians from all walk of life have praised President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for sacking Director of the Rural Electrification Agency, REA, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, alongside three Executive Directors of the Agency over alleged N1.2 billion graft.

Speaking on the matter, professor Adeagbo Moritiwon, a political economist said the action of the president ” has shown that he’s now showing signs and the political will to tackle corruption in his administration. If only he can sustain the momentum.”

In his own reaction,.Badejo Akamo, executive director of Action Against Corruption noted that the president must as principle put aside sentiments and political consideration when dealing with corruption, ” saying the sack of the electricity boss is a right step in the right direction.”

Francis Inalegwu, a lawyer praised Tinubu for his action against corruption, noting that ” though there are questions on how he attained the presidency President Bola Tinubu has displayed a commendable disposition against corruption.”

Recall that on Thursday the president approved the indefinite suspension of the Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency, REA, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, alongside three Executive Directors of the Agency over alleged N1.2 billion graft.

The President has also approved the reconstitution of the Board of the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company, NELMCO, with a modification to the Board structure, which empowering the Minister of Power to take over the Board Chairmanship from the Minister of Finance.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, in a statement said the takeover was in view of NELMCO’s central role in the operation of the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry, NESI.

Ngelale said President Tinubu anticipates that the Board’s new structure and composition would yield measurable progress in the management of the power sector’s post-privatization liabilities to create conditions for the attainment of world-class standards of operational efficiency across all sub-components of NESI.

The Minister of Power is now the new NELMCO Board Chairman, while the Minister of Finance is the Vice-Chairman.

Other members are the Director-General, Debt Management Office; the Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises; Mrs. Mojoyinoluwa Dekalu-Thomas, NELMCO Managing Director; Mr. Joseph Asuku Bello, NELMCO Executive Director, Asset Management; Mr. Hassan Yahya, NELMCO Executive Director, Corporate Services; Mr. Abdullahi Mahmud Gaya, Non-Executive Director; and Prof. Ayanfemi Ayandele, Non-Executive Director.

Meanwhile, suspending the REA boss, according to Ngelale, was in the light of new findings unearthed during a comprehensive investigation into the financial activities of the Agency.

Others affected by the suspension include Olaniyi Alaba Netufo, Executive Director, Corporate Services; Barka Sajou, Executive Director, Technical Services; and Sa’adatu Balgore, Executive Director, Rural Electrification Fund.

“President Tinubu has ordered a wider investigation into the conduct of the aforementioned officials in a fraudulent expenditure amounting to over N1.2 billion over the past two years, some of which has already been recovered by anti-graft agencies.”

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