The situation within the Ministry of Power superintended by the
duo of Engineer Sale Mamman and Mr. Goddy Jedy-Agba in the last
few weeks undoubtedly calls for concern. This unpleasant
development portends danger for every critical sector of the
Nation if not immediately addressed and a solution proffered. The
Nigerian energy sector, as over the years, has been plagued by
widespread corrupt and illicit practices which has made
successive government’s interventions go noticed. And this is
not about to change if urgent and critical measures are not taken
by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In what can best be described as brazen disregard for due
process and competence and an unwarranted display of power and
preeminence, Sale Mamman has personalized critical decisions within
the Power Ministry and its Agencies, even to the detriment of
the collective good of Nigerians, whose bidding he swore to do
at his inauguration as Minister of the Federal Republic.
Sale Mamman’s decision to “indefinitely suspend” the Managing
Director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Damilola
Ogunbiyi, which has since been reversed by the President,
further lends credence to his high level shenaniganry. Damilola
Ogunbiyi, from her time as Senior Special Adviser on Public
Private Partnership (PPP) to the Lagos State Governor and then as
General Manager of Lagos State Electricity Board to being appointed
to oversee the REA, has displayed competence in her chosen
career path in the energy sector, which gave rise to her
appointment as Chief Executive of the United Nations’
Sustainable Energy for All.
Ogunbiyi’s “suspension”, which came months after she tendered
her resignation to enable her proceed to her new role at the
United Nations, was greeted with widespread condemnation even
within the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) as staffs berated
the Minister for “hating women”.
Nigeria’s loss is the UN’s gain. But for how long shall the
country continue to sacrifice competence and efficiency for
nepotism and undue preference?
On the same day, in what was called “reorganization/sanitation
in the Federal Ministry of Power”, Sale Mamman, through his
ineffectual mouthpiece Aaron Artimas, in a release had asked the
Managing Director of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading
Company (NBET), Marilyn Amobi to “step down and hand over to
the most senior Director of the Organisation”. This decision,
according to sources within the Presidency, has also been
reversed by the President.
It would be recalled that few weeks ago, the National Union of
Electricity Employees embarked on strike to protest what was
alleged as failure of the Minister of Power to implement their
demands on the privatization of the Power Sector.
In a memo dated November 7 2019, and sent to the Minister,
NUEE had threatened to declare a nationwide strike if its
demands were not met. It was in fact, stated in the memo that
previous letters to the Minister since his assumption of duty
as Power Minister had gone unacknowledged.
How does a Minister of Power show apathy for its workers and
But for the swift intervention of the Minister of State for
Power Mr. Goddy JedyAgba, who had first met with the
Electricity Workers’ Union weeks before they embarked on the
industrial action that plunged the country into darkness for nearly
24 hours, the situation would have further gone unattended and
the Nation plunged into perpetual darkness. Nigeria has never had
it that perilous.
Meanwhile, the tension that Mamman’s inglorious decisions of
easing out the MDs of REA and NBET had yet to abate, when his
nepotistic mien came to the fore again. This time around, it was
the appointment of two of his kinsmen as Directors into the
Sale Mamman had given specific directives that the Directors be
in charge of Procurement and Funds within the REA.
The Directors are Dr. Lawal Ibrahim (Funds) and Mr. Bulus
Maiyaki (Procurement). While Maiyaki was internally redeployed,
Ibrahim was purportedly shipped in from outside.
The manner of these autarchic appointments is what calls for
The Minister of State, Goddy Jedy-Agba has had no input in any
of these powercrazy displays. Even though, by the directive of
the President, he supervises the REA.
In a memo dated December 27, 2019, Sale unilaterally made the
“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
Some persons within the Agency, who prefer anonymity, described
the appointment as “strange and bizarre”.
“It is strange and bizarre for a Minister of Power to
interfere directly in the affairs of REA by dictating who should
be in charge of what 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 the Minister of State for
Power, Mr Goddy JedyAgba is in charge of the Agency but he
was not in the picture of these postings done by Engr. Sale.”
Sale Mamman must be called to order and be made to uphold the
tenets of the memo containing the directive of the President,
conveyed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,
Boss Mustapha which spelt out the duties of the Minister and his
Minister of State.
The memo by the SGF had on October 18, 2019 stated that REA is
to be supervised by the Minister of State for Power.
“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
By these breaches, the Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman
may be guilty of the infractions he accused the former MD of REA
of. I urge the President’s intervention, like the reversal of
Damilola Ogunbiyi’s “indefinite suspension”.
Francis Adeleye Adebowale