Minister of Power, Barth Nnaji Resigns
Announcing the resignation, Special Adviser to the President on media and publicity, Dr Reuben Abati said President Goodluck Jonathan has accepted the minister’s resignation and thanked him for his services to the nation.
It is not immediately clear the reasons behind Nnaji’s resignation, but findings by Abusidiqu.com reveals that it may not be unconnected to the revelation that he (Prof. Nnaji) has a direct interest in a consortium that bidded for the Afam power plant, one of the generating plants put up for privatisation by the Federal Government.
Professor Nnaji was prior to his appointment as the Minister of Power, the chairman of Geometrics, one of the company with indirect equity holding in one of the three firms – Primeniza Energy Limited, Skipper Nigeria Limited and NPG Consortium which bidded which bidded for the Afam plant
Although he was reported to have confirmed his interest in a bid for the plant at the crucial meeting of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) on August 24, at which the evaluation of the bids for Afam, Geregu, Kanji, Shiroro, Sapele, and Ugheli power plants were appraised, and authority given to the Technical Committee on Privatisation, to announce the firms that were passed to proceed to the next stage of the bid process, analyst are of the opinion that rather than announce his interest to the meeting, he should have made it public.
There are also questions of whether there is a kind of probability that the firm in which he had direct interest winning bid was more than a mere coincidence or whether there was an insider dealing from the start and the minister use privileged information about the privatisation process to his own advantage.
There are also questions of why the firm bidded for by the company in which Nnaji has indirect interest has to be the Afam power plant, especially considering that Afam is potentially the most lucrative of all the power assets…because it will require little rehabilitation, and so on.
Aside Prof. Nnaji’s interest in Afam power plant, his tenure has also been mired by controversies in the management of the pension of PHCN staff and the huge amount of money which many say is to enable him buy good reports in the media.
Prof. Nnaji’s tenure would be remembered by the testimonies of some Nigerians that power supply had improved under his control.
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