President Bola Tinubu has suspended indefinitely the Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, and three other executive directors of the agency.

The President has appointed a five-member interim management for the agency with Abba Abubakar Aliyu as the Managing Director and CEO.

A statement yesterday in Abuja by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, said President Tinubu’s action followed the outcome of an investigation which uncovered alleged N1.2 billion fraud in the agency.

The statement said while one of the anti-corruption agencies at the head of the ongoing investigation had recovered some of the alleged fraudulently appropriated funds, the President has ordered a wider probe into the matter.

“In the light of new findings unearthed during a comprehensive investigation into the financial activities of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), President Tinubu has approved the indefinite suspension of the Managing Director/CEO of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, alongside three Executive Directors of the agency from office: Olaniyi Alaba Netufo (Executive Director, Corporate Services; Barka Sajou — Executive Director, Technical Services; and Sa’adatu Balgore — Executive Director, Rural Electrification Fund (REF).

“Furthermore, President Tinubu has ordered a wider investigation into the conduct of the aforementioned officials in a fraudulent mis-expenditure amounting to over N1.2 billion over the past two years, some of which has already been recovered by anti-graft agencies.

“By the directive of the President, the following qualified Nigerians are appointed to serve in the new management team of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) in acting capacity with immediate effect:

“Abba Abubakar Aliyu (Managing Director/CEO), Ayoade Gboyega (Executive Director, Corporate Services), Umar Abdullahi Umar (Executive Director, Technical Services), Doris Uboh (Executive Director, Rural Electrification Fund, REF), Olufemi Akinyelure (Head of Project Management Unit, Nigeria Electrification Project).

“President Bola Tinubu expects all appointees in his administration to uphold the highest standards of transparency and accountability in the discharge of their duties.“He reiterates his determination to elevate the yearnings of Nigerians for good governance and qualitative service delivery above the narrow interests of individuals who are entrusted to provide critical services to the Nigerian people,” the statement said.

Also, President Tinubu has approved the reconstitution of the Board of the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) with a modification to its board’s structure.

A statement yesterday by Ngelale said the adjustment to NELMCO’s board structure is aimed at empowering the office of the Minister of Power to take over the board chairmanship from the Office of the Minister of Finance.

The statement explained that the adjustment the structure is in view of NELMCO’s central role in the operation of the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

The new board, according to the statement, will be constituted to have the “Minister of Power as NELMCO Board Chairman; Minister of Finance as NELMCO Board Vice Chairman; the Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO) as member; and the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) as member”.

“Mrs. Mojoyinoluwa Dekalu-Thomas, NELMCO Managing Director/CEO (five-year term); Mr. Joseph Asuku Bello, NELMCO Executive Director, Asset Management (five-year term); Mr. Hassan Yahya, NELMCO Executive Director, Corporate Services (five-year term); Mr. Abdullahi Mahmud Gaya, Non-Executive Director (three-year term); and Prof. (Mrs.) Ayanfemi Ayandele — Non-Executive Director (three-year term).

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“In consonance with his Renewed Hope Agenda, President Tinubu anticipates that NELMCO Board’s new structure and composition will yield expeditious and measurable progress in the management of the power sector’s post-privatisation liabilities to create conditions for the sustainable attainment of world-class standards of operational efficiency across all sub-components of the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI),” the statement said.

FGN Power

Also yesterday, President Tinubu has reconstituted and amended the structure of the Governing Board of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Power Company, appointing the Minister of Power as the Chairman of its board.

A statement last night by Ngelale said the President took the step to achieve the full end-to-end modernisation of the nation’s electric power transmission grid as part of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI).

The FGN Power Company implements the accelerated performance agreement with Siemens Energy.

The statement said: “By the President’s directive, the Chairmanship of the FGN Power Company Board has been assigned to the Office of the Minister of Power.

“Honourable Minister of Finance (Board Vice Chairman, FGN Power Company); Managing Director/CEO, FGN Power Company (member); Director General, Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE (member); Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN (member).

“Distribution companies’ representative (member); Generation companies’ representative (member); and President, Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, (member),” the statement said.

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