Buhari replaces MIT prof who ‘rejected’ NERC job
President Muhammadu Buhari has replaced Akintunde Akinwande, his former nominee for the chairmanship position of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
Buhari had transmitted the name of Akinwande, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, to the senate last year, but he failed to appear before the upper legislative chamber on two separate occasions.
Akintunde did not also go to the Department of State Services (DSS) for the required screening, which led to the reports that he was not interested in the job.
But the presidency had denied the reports, claiming that Akinwande was in touch with the senate committee on power, steel development and metallurgy.
“The respected senate committee on power, steel development and metallurgy was duly informed by me of the unavoidable absence of the nominee,” Ita Enang, senior special assistant to the president on national assembly, had said in a statement.
“There was no statement or implication of rejection by the nominee.”
However, Enang could not come up with another excuse when Akinwande failed to appear before the upper legislative chamber for the second time within a month.
Enyinnaya Abaribe, chairman of the committee, had said it was obvious that Akinwande was not interested in the job.
The committee had asked the president to nominate another person.
On Friday, Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, announced that James Momoh, a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; and Director of Energy Services and Controls at Howard University, United States of America, had been nominated for the plum job.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated Prof. James Momoh for the position of Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC),” Shehu said in a statement.
“The president’s nominee to the senate for confirmation is a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; and director of Energy Services and Controls at Howard University, United States of America.
“Momoh, a life fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Fellow of the Nigeria Society of Engineers, has over three decades of teaching and research experience in power system, smart grid, optimisation and power communications.
“The 1987 recipient of the National Science Foundation-US White House Presidential Young Investigator Award is a widely published scholar and has held several professional leadership positions in the academia.”
Shehu added that Buhari strongly believes that Momoh has the “technical knowledge, capacity and integrity to lead the commission’s effort to bring about the much-needed change in Nigeria’s power sector”.