NERC Job: Professor Akinwande To Honour Screening After MIT Clearance

NERC, Professor Akintunde AkinwandeNominated Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Professor Akintunde Akinwande, says he will honour an invitation for screening by the Nigerian Senate after clearing with his current employer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA.

A statement by the President’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, disclosed that Professor Akinwande had said he did not turn down the offer by President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to Adesina, the declaration is contained in a letter dated October 26, 2016, addressed to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and sent through the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang.

The letter reads in part: “News reports in Nigeria that I have rejected President Buhari’s nomination to be Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission have been brought to my attention.

“I have the greatest respect for President Buhari. I am fully behind the change he has brought and is bringing to the way government business is conducted in Nigeria.

“I am deeply honoured that Mr President and his team thought me worthy for this important national assignment and sought me out for it.

“I am a tenured professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“As such, I am contractually constrained to seek formally the consent of the university for a leave of absence before presenting myself to the Senate for screening and if confirmed take on the assignment.”

Professor Akinwande apologised to the Senate Committee for not showing up for the screening process scheduled for Tuesday, October 25, noting that it was not out of disrespect for the institution.

The academic said he would be available for the screening after clearance from the MIT.

President Jonathan Sacks Two Special Advisers

The President of Nigeria has again relieved two more people of their duties, in his work force.

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser (Media & Publicity), Mr Reuben Abati, President Goodluck Jonathan disclosed that he has relieved Mrs. Joy Emordi of her appointment as Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters with immediate effect.

“The President has similarly terminated the appointment of Dr. Tunji Olagunju as his Special Adviser on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD),” the statement read.

Mr Abati expressed thanks on behalf of the President to Mrs. Emordi and Dr. Olagunju “for their services and wishes them success in their future endeavours.”

This information is coming a few days after 9 ministers were sacked from the President’s cabinet.

However, the move was touted as politically motivated owing to the on-going crisis in the Peoples’ Democratic Party to which Mr President belongs.

Reps Reject Proposed 2013 Amendment Bill

The House of Representatives has thrown out the 2013 Appropriation Amendment Bill as proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The House on Wednesday took this position after considering a constitutional point of order which observed that the document as presented is not recognized by the 1999 Constitution.

According to the lawmakers, Section 81 of the Constitution only recognises an amendment to an appropriation only through a Supplementary Appropriation Act.

The bill was unanimously rejected and the President was advised to present a proper bill.

This is coming despite  a plea  by the Presidency that the lawmakers should pass the bill.

Worried over the delay in concluding work on the grey areas in the 2013 Budget, the Presidency had on Monday asked the National Assembly to expedite action on the document.

Briefing journalists in Abuja, the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly matters, Joy Emordi urged lawmakers to give the Petroleum Industry Bill accelerated consideration to help facilitate the federal government’s plan of repositioning the oil and gas sector.

Senate warns Jonathan aides on inflammatory statements against national assembly

The Senate at the plenary session on Wednesday, asked President Jonathan to caution his ministers and aides against making inflammatory statements against Federal lawmakers to avoid straining the cordial relationship between the legislature and executive.

Two special advisers to the president, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak and Dr Doyin Okupe came under fire from the Senate over inflammatory remarks on the national assembly.

The lawmakers noted with dismay the regular attacks on the legislature by Ministers and aides of President Goodluck Jonathan, describing the presidential aides as fifth columnists.

It will be recalled that last month, the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku apologized to the Senate over remarks he made that the resolutions by the national assembly are only advisory.

When it appeared that the relationship between the executive and the legislature is being smoothen, Presidential aides Alhaji Gulak and Dr Okupe attacked the national assembly.

Deputy senate president Ike Ekweremadu asked the Senate to take on the challenge thrown by presidential adviser Alhaji Gulak.

However the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly matters, Senator Joy Emodi in a statement said the alleged remarks by the presidential aides do not reflect the views of President Jonathan.

She stated that the presidential aides are on their own, adding that they never spoke the mind of the president.

It however remains to be seen if the intervention of Senator Emordi will soothe the tempers of lawmakers, and mend the frayed relationship between the executive and the senate.