By Lateef Ibrahim
Allegations of forceful imposition of two directors from Taraba State in the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) against the Minister of Power, Engr. Mamman Sale is causing stir at the agency.
The agency was allegedly given a specific directive that those appointed should be in charge of procurement and funds.
Those said to have been appointed were Director of Procurement, Mr. Bulus Maiyaki (Procurement) and Dr. Lawal Ibrahim (Director, Funds) from Taraba State.
While Bulus Maiyaki was internally redeployed from the system, Ibrahim was brought from outside.
There were fears that the Minister might appoint more directors from his state for REA for other key posts.
The appointments were hurriedly made before the new Managing Director of the agency, Engr. Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad took over.
It was learnt that the appointments are now part of the major challenges facing the new MD, who assumed duties last Thursday.
According to the aggrieved staff of the agency, for four years when Mr. Babatunde Fashola was in charge of the Ministry of Power, he did not interfere in the operation of the REA.
They also claimed that the Minister of State for Power, Mr. Goddy Agba Jeddy is in charge of the agency but he was not in the picture of the postings done allegedly by Sale.
Checks show that the Minister did the postings in a December 27th, 2019 memo to REA.
The letter reads in part: “I wish to inform you of the deployment of the following officers from their present position as follows: Dr. Lawal Ibrahim (Director, Funds); Bulus Maiyaki (Procurement); Demas Y. Dideno (Deputy Director of Procurement now Deputy Director, Planning, Research and Development); Adeyemi Moses Adelekan(Assistant Director, Procurement to Assistant Director, Planning, Research and Development); Engr. Magaji D. Bala (Assistant Director, North-West to Assistant Director, Procurement); and Engr. Turba Gabriel Dangula, Assistant Director, Projects to Assistant Director, North-West).
A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “It is strange for a Minister of Power to interfere directly in the affairs of REA by dictating who should be in charge of certain units.
“This is the first time we are experiencing this kind of interference. It is more curious that the Minister is more interested in the units on Procurement and Funds.
“Why we are disturbed is that Minister of State for Power, Mr. Goddy Agba Jeddy is in charge of the agency but he was not in the picture of the postings done by Sale.
“The staff of REA are certainly unhappy. We are aware that the Minister is allegedly planning more reshuffling based on ethnic agenda.”
Another source pleaded with the presidency to ask the minister to reverse the postings.
“We want the minister to respect the tenets of a memo written by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha which spelt out the duties of Sale and his Minister of State, Jeddy.
A memo by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha on October 18, 2019 clearly stated that REA is to be supervised by the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Agba Jeddy.
The memo said: “I write to formally inform you that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the schedule of duties for Ministers and Ministers of State to facilitate effective delivery of their ministerial mandates based on government priorities.
”The Minister of State shall assist in the formulation and implementation of policies within his scheduled areas in a manner that supports the realization of the mandate of the ministry.
“The Minister of State shall be responsible for the following programmes/ activities of the ministry: Rural Electrification Programmes and Training and capacity development.
“The Minister of State shall oversee the following parastatals: Rural Electrification Agency (REA); National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) and Nigeria electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA).”