President Goodluck Jonathan has said that he was waiting for the Senate to resume from its recess before filling the two ministerial vacancies in the power and defence ministry following the resignation of Prof. Bath Nnaji and the removal of Dr. Haliru Bello.
"Definitely immediately the National Assembly comes back especially Senate, we will clear the two vacancies that we have. They will get cleared and place people accordingly so that the Minister of Power will come up. But, in the interim, the Minister of State Power is holding on to that", he stated.
Accordingly, in a frantic move to sustain the ongoing reform in the power sector, the president has reconstituted the Presidential Action Committee on Power and the Presidential Task Force on Power, the two bodies are charged with responsibility for overseeing the implementation of Federal Government's agenda for power sector reforms.
Speaking while inaugurating the reconstituted committees at the presidential villa, Abuja yesterday, Jonathan said he was retaining the chairmanship of the recomposed Presidential Action Committee on Power (PACP), with Vice President Namadi Sambo as deputy Chairmana.
The committee was established in June 2010 to provide leadership and guidance for the rapid development of Nigeria's power sector and determine the general policy direction and strategic focus of reforms in the sector.
The President has also appointed Engineer Reynold Dagogo-Jack of the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) as the chairmanship of the Presidential Task Force on Power which has the duty of developing and driving the Federal Government's action plan for the power sector as well as articulating a proper plan of action for implementation in the areas of power generation, transmission and distribution.
Jonathan said, "But whether the Minister of Power comes or not, we want to reconstitute then two teams because Nigerians will not be happy if we relapse and I believe that as we progress from now till December, if Nigerians can go home in December and do their parties without generators and can drive to their States without gutters on our roads stopping them, I think the rating of government will improve. So we must work hard to get to this level.
"Before this term, in terms of power, we were meeting every two weeks. There were two committees on power but we stopped meeting because the former Minister of Power was the head of the technical team and when he moved across, we have not been able to meet but Nigerians are happy with government because power is getting steady and I don't want us to relapse", he added.
The president also hinted of a seeming conflict of interest between the outgone power minister, Nnaji and the secretary of the committee who is his Special Adviser, saying changes were needed because two Captains cannot man a Ship.
He said, "We have done it this way because the other time when Nnaji was the Chairman, The Secretary was my SA, so there were a lot of conflict between two of them because they say two captains cannot drive a ship. This time around we just want one captain and others will work with him."