The minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola, has insisted that Usman Mohammed, a chartered accountant, must replace Abubakar Atiku, an engineer with doctorate degree in Electrical Engineering, as managing director of Transmission Company of Nigeria.
The minister had appeared before the National Assembly Joint Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, following petitions written to the Senate by Staff of TCN, under the umbrella of the National Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, asking the Senate to intervene.
“The appointment of the interim MD for TCN was designed to ensure responsiveness to the needs of DISCOs and GENCOs, and to improve their efficiency,” he told the committee.
The minister further allayed fears of dampening staff’s morale, saying that this should not be joined to the issue of the appointment.
He added that the President had used his prerogative to appoint whomever he picked to manage the affairs of TCN.
The minister told the committee that the appointment of Mr. Mohammed had nothing to do with the AfDB’s loan to Nigeria to help reform the power sector.
He pointed out that the appointment was not a criterion for the loan, but was based on the expertise the new managing director would bring on board.
The two committees had earlier stated that the National Assembly was not interested in dictating to the minister on how to run his ministry, saying the National Assembly only wanted to ensure that the rule of law was followed at all times of accountability and transparency.
Feelers in the industry picked hole in the appointment/secondment of Mr Mohammed, saying the world best practice is to employ expert consultants to understudy an organization and restructure it in line with policies and directives of government.
Speaking to DAILY NIGERIAN on the issue, an expert, Yohanna Joel, said when consultants restructure an organisation in tune with government policies, the management will then be brought to make the reorganisation take pragmatic inroad.
“Upon successful completion of the exercise, a new management can then be constituted to executive the mandate of the restructured organization.
“Please note that the restructuring of TCN was one of the mandates of Manitoba management to split the functions of TCN into two Business units of TSP and ISO in line with the two licenses issued by the regulator of the industry, NERC. This had already been approved by the then board of TCN and already in operation.
“It is really shocking and improper that the president was misguided to take this decision,” he said.