Tinubu’s Appointment of APC Chairman Ganduje’s Son as Director of the Rural Electrification Agency Violated the Nigerian Electricity Act

Apr 18, 2024 | Politics | 0 comments

President Bola Tinubu’s recent appointments at the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) have stirred controversy, revealing a breach of constitutional protocol, as reported by SaharaReporters.

In March, Tinubu’s press statement relayed through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, announced the appointment of Umar Abdullahi Umar as the new Executive Director of the REA. Umar, the son of former Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman was appointed amidst the suspension of Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad and three other Executive Directors from the agency.

Furthermore, other appointments were disclosed, including Abba Aliyu as Managing Director/CEO, Ayoade Gboyega as Executive Director of Corporate Services, Doris Uboh as Executive Director of Rural Electrification Fund, and Olufemi Akinyelure as Head of the Project Management Unit, Nigeria Electrification Project.

However, investigations by SaharaReporters revealed that these appointments contravened Section 130, Sub-sections 3 and 4 of the new Electricity Act (Amendment) signed by President Tinubu in February 2024. The Act mandates the President to appoint REA board members based on the minister’s recommendation, ensuring representation from all six geographical zones of Nigeria.

Currently, the absence of representation from the South East, North East, and North Central regions on the REA board, coupled with the presence of two representatives from Kano State, including Ganduje’s son and MD/CEO Abba Abubakar Aliyu, raises concern.

A source within the agency attributed this breach to Power Minister Adebayo Adelabu’s oversight, noting the potential implications for Nigeria’s power sector and the credibility of the appointments.

Moreover, the recent revelations of financial misconduct within the REA, as detailed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), further spotlight the need for transparency and accountability within the agency. The EFCC’s report exposes the alleged misappropriation of funds totalling N12.4 billion, procurement fraud, and other malpractices, implicating top officials of the REA.

These developments underscore the urgency for corrective action to ensure compliance with legal provisions and restore public trust in the agency’s operations.

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