Nigeria: Again Buhari Overrules Power Minister, Reverses Suspension of NBET MD

President Muhammadu Buhari has yet again overruled the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, over key decisions made in agencies under the ministry’s supervision.

On Thursday, the president reversed the suspension of Marilyn Amobi, the embattled Managing Director of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company Limited ( NBET ).

PREMIUM TIMES understands that the agency has also been moved from the ministry of power to the ministry of finance.

Emmanuel Bello, spokesperson to the power minister, confirmed the development to PREMIUM TIMES Thursday afternoon.

Background

Last December, PREMIUM TIMES reported how Ms Amobi was suspended.

The Christmas eve suspension order was issued by the Minister of Power, Mr Mamman, who directed Ms Amobi to hand over to the most senior director in the organization.

The minister was quoted as saying that the order for the MD to step down was in continuation of the government’s effort to reorganise and sanitise the Federal Ministry of Power and its affiliate agencies.

The reorganization exercise is one of the steps by the minister to remove all factors militating against the smooth operation of the power sector to deliver the objective set by the government.

Ms Amobi was the second electricity chief to be suspended within same period.

PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported the suspension of the Managing Director of Rural Electrification Agency, Damilola Ogunbiyi over perceived “infractions” in the agency.

Reversals

On Thursday, Mr Buhari ordered the reversal of Ms Amobi’s suspension, with stakeholders expressing concerns over the decision to move the agency to the finance ministry.

The president had earlier ordered the reversal of the suspension of the immediate past Managing Director of Rural Electrification Agency, Mrs Ogunbiyi.

Mr Buhari ordered the reversal of the suspension on Tuesday, in clear overrule of an earlier directive given by Mr Mamman.

Mrs Ogunbiyi has since joined the United Nations.

Nigerians React

Veteran journalist, Kadaria Ahmed, in her reaction noted that the minister’s position has become untenable, calling on him to resign. “Surely the position of the Min of @PowerMinNigeria is now untenable and he should resign,” she tweeted.

Another user, @Kas_Nwuke, noted that “The Power Minister has no more authority or control over the recalled staff member. If the Power Minister has any integrity or sense of self-worth, he will resign his appointment.”

Jude Ekwedike, another twitter user, alleged that the minister is “not mature to lead” the ministry and should be sacked. “I have called for him to be sacked,” he wrote on Twitter. “He goes after Fashola, he goes after everyone. He is not mature to lead a Federal Ministry and must be sacked immediately. He is an embarrassment to the administration.”

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