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PHCN..........Why did Barth Nnaji resign?

03 September 2012, 11:58

Prof. Bartholomew Nnaji, Nigeria’s Minister of power resigned on the 28th of August, 2012 from the cabinet of President Goodluck Jonathan. A statement from the Presidency said Mr Jonathan had accepted Mr Nnaji’s resignation with immediate effect.

What baffles me are the different versions of the story and reason behind his resignation. How come we just never have simple and straightforward reasons behind events in this country? We are just so used to either watering or playing down the truth. Some people out there are so comfortable hoarding the truth because of personal interest forgetting that lies can only endure for a while before the truth catches up with it in due course just like nemesis.

The power ministry is actually one of the very sensitive ones and Prof Barth Nnaji’s tenure as minister has been mired by recent controversy.

Despite testimonies by some Nigerians that power supply has improved under his control, critics have accused him of spending too much money to enable him buy good reports in the media. In addition, labour union leaders have recently questioned his management of their pension fund. Also reports have emerged that companies linked to Mr Nnaji were engaged in a bid to buy over power plants slated for privatization by his ministry.

Another source said the president in the person of Mr Goodluck Jonathan ordered his resignation instead of sacking him so as to save his face.

Barth spoke through his press secretary that some powerful forces who are interested in the bidding of the privatisation of the power industry have instigated his resignation stating that Jonathan has got no hand in his resignation.

Going by the version of NUEE {National Union of Electricity Employees} who have said Barth cannot be a judge in his own case whilst accusing him of only consenting to pay 25% of the gratuity and entitlement which should be accrued to them. They also accused him of being a shareholder/trustee in some of the companies bidding for PHCN.

Different versions, different stories, contracting views from different sources and I for one just heave a sigh not of relief but somewhat of concern as to why we still can’t have a straightforward reason for such a sensitive and delicate issue knowing what important role the power sector plays in driving our economy.

All said and done, we can only keep wishing that our common interest is not sacrificed in the process of this entire tussle knowing that when the elephants fight, the grass is always at the receiving end.

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