Power: Anxiety over leak AfDB, Finance Minister’s memo to Buhari

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Power: Anxiety over leak AfDB, Finance Minister’s memo to Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

…How trade union issued statement from leaked document

….As source fingers Power Minister

…Allegation against minister frivolous, says Ministry of Power

By Chris Ochayi

The struggle for Management of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, has taken apprehensive dimension following alleged leakage of top confidential document from the Presidential Villa, Abuja, currently in possession of factional leadership of trade union in the Ministry of Power.

The letters, according to a reliable source close to the power pay was written by the top management at the African Development Bank, AfDB, intimating the President, Muhammadu Buhari on the implication of removal of the former Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed, particularly with the donor agencies considering to decline further transactions in power sector.



The letters, Vanguard reliably gathered, were those written by the President, African Development Bank, AfDB, Akinwunmi Adesina and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, to which the both technocrat made comprehensive reports on what the nation’s power sector stands to benefit, if Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed is reinstated to steer the affairs of TCN, most especially in the area of transparency, which the foreign donors strictly adhered to.

It would recalled that a group, the Nigerian Power Consumers Forum, NPCF, recently issued a warning that the removal of MD, TCN, Mr. Mohammed, would threaten $1.66 billion foreign donor fund the company has attracted to expand power transmission to 20,000 megawatts.

General Secretary of the Forum, Michael A. Okoh, who called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct a reversal of the sack in order to save the power sector from the dictatorship that is engulfing it.

According to the source, “I was told the Chief of Staff, CoS, to the President, Professor Ibrahim Agbola Gambari forwarded the letter of the Honourable Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari with attached letter of the President, African Development Bank to Minister of Power for his comment.

Instead of sending his comment in a classified document meant for President Buhari, Engr Saleh Mamman, Minister of Power in his desperate effort allegedly leaked the document to a section of the union led by Okonkwo.

The source accused the ministry of plots to destroy the former MD’s reputation and that of the President of AfDB and Honourable Minister of Finance for leaking the document.

He alleged further that “It is unfortunate that a Senior Minister of the Nigeria can leak a document meant to be seen by the President. I cannot also understand why the COS sent the document to the minister given his position on this issue.

“The labour union, Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, SSAEAC, has already issued a press statement based on the leaked document disparaging the persons of Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, and the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed.

“You can see this statement issued by Umar Abubakar Dubagari , the General Secretary of SSAEAC,  that disclosed details to the  general public, what is supposed to be a top confidential document in the office of Mr. President.

“So, my question is how such confidential document found its way into the hands of a factional union body, the SSAEAC, to the extent of issuing a press statement based on it.  This brings to question if we still have s a system that is working. This to me is a nut for Department of State Service, DSS, to crack.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Power has rose in defence of the Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman of any wrong doing, while distancing him from allegation of the leaked vital document.

Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Power, Mr. Aaron Artimas, while reacting to the allegation, during a telephone conversation with Vanguard, described the insinuation as frivolous

Recall the President, Muhammadu Buhari’s government recently reacted angrily to the leakage of memos to the public allegedly by government officials.

The Nigerian government lamented that state documents, including classified ones, were being sent out by public officers.

Head of Civil Service of the Federation, HOSF, Folasade Yemi-Esan, gave the warning in a circular to the presidency, ministries, departments, agencies, security agencies, among others.

Noting that the matter was being investigation, Yemi-Esan, described the development as, “embarrassing”, while declaring that perpetrators will be dismissed and prosecuted.

To buttress his argument the letter was leaked to the faction of the trade union sympathetic to the ministry of power, the source rescaled, how the labour unions were polarised with one in favour of the Minister of Power and the others rooting for reinstatement of the MD.

He said, “You will recall that during the abrupt removal of the MD, the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, SSAEAC, and the Nigerian Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, at TCN branch, staged a protest to reject his sacking.

“The national body of the Nigerian Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, led by Comrade Joe Ajaero rose in support of Gur Mohammed. “

He said, but only the national body of the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, SSAEAC, faction control by Okonkwo supported the sacking.

However, the Special Adviser to the Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman, on media, Mr. Aaron Artimas, while defending the minister said, “As you know, the senior staff association had already issued a statement in support of the charges at TCN.

“They could not counter themselves. I strongly doubt that at this stage the Minister could be asked to comment on any attempt by the former MD to return to TCN. I wish to state emphatically that there is nothing of this sort and therefore no authentic letter to be leaked.

“Due diligence or process was followed in the appointment of the new MD, TCN to align the Agency with the Presidential Power Initiative and President Muhammadu Buhari acted appropriately by approving the Minister’s recommendations.

“There’s nothing on ground to warrant such a review and I doubt if the senior staff can put themselves in such an incongruous position”, Mr. Artimas said.

Vanguard

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