Power Minister Asks MD, NBET to Step Down, Suspends MD, REA
In one fell swoop, the Federal Minister of Power, Engr Sale Mamam has asked the Managing Director of Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company, NBET, Dr Merilyn Amobi to step down and suspended the Managing Director of Rural Electrification Agency, REA, Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi in what seems to be a major shake up in the Power Sector since the re-election of President Mohammed Buhari.
There are mixed reactions from the people and keen Power Sector observers regarding the two events. While some Power Sector watchers are happy with and even commend the action on the MD of NBET, saying that it has been long overdue following the series of controversies in NBET operations, the observers are amazed at how the Minister can suspend the MD of REA who is alleged to have resigned since September to join the UN organization.
According to the brief twin statements published on the Power Ministry’s Twitter handle and signed by Aaron Artimas, Mrs Ogunbiyi was suspended for infractions noticed in the operations of the agency. In the case of Dr Amobi, she has been asked to step down in line with the re-organization and sanitization program in the Power Ministry. Both officers were by the releases directed to handover to the next most senior officer in their respective organizations.
A 5-man panel of inquiry has been set up to investigated the several controversies in NBET with a view to bringing sanity to the agency. Dr Amobi assumed duty in August 2016 on a five-year term. Since assuming office she has battled staff of her company as well as Power Sector operators such as power generation and distribution companies unendingly.
Meanwhile, Dr Nnaemeka Ewelukwa has assumed the office of Acting MD of NBET as most senior officer following the stepping down of Dr Amobi. Dr Ewelukwa has several law degrees including a Ph.D in Law from the University of London and has been part of the Executive Management of NBET.