The League of Civil Society Groups has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari over the recent reappointment of Professor Elli Bala Jidere as Director General of the Energy Commission of Nigeria.
The group, in a statement signed by Barrister Adefila Kamal, President and Ambassador Mukhtar Akoshile, National Secretary said Jidere, during his first term in office, restored sanity and probity to the management of the Commission, instilling financial discipline and openness in governance thus making hitherto opaque processes such as procurement open to the general public.
The statement read in full:
“We have observed a disturbing turn of events in the Nigerian political landscape, where even issues of administration are milked for cheap popularity and dishonest political gains. This over-politicisation has become the bane of the Nigerian public service space, holding back viable and promising policies and projects from implementation to better the lot of Nigerians.
“The attempt by a section of the staff of the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), to bring the person of Prof. ELI BALA Jidere, who was duly appointed by Mr. President, into disrepute is a classic case in point of Nigerians who do not want to move on from the old way of running government. It becomes rather curious that in making these calls, the Union haven’t been able to reference any financial misconduct to his person.
“It is on record that Prof. Jidere had, during his first term in office, restored sanity and probity to the management of the Commission, instilling financial discipline and openness in governance making hitherto opaque processes such as procurement open to the general public. Prof. Eli Jidere reduced the Commission’s debt on constituency projects to N6.5billion from N16billion in 2013, while ensuring that no new debt was incurred on executed projects by paying fully for all contracts entered into in the period.
“On the international scene Prof. Jidere ensured that Nigeria’s contributions to international energy organization’s were fully paid up, which was a far departure from the past, facilitating the election of Nigeria as Vice President of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Promotion of renewable energy projects all over Nigeria have attracted support of partners such as JICA, UNDP and UNIDO.
“These international organizations that are known for demanding transparency and probity in project execution had at no time expressed any displeasure with the commission on its part.
“The League of Civil Society Groups wish to place it on record and bring to the notice of the staff that the Commission belongs to all Nigerians and as a public interest organization we will resist any attempt to hold such a sensitive agency of government to ransom. The march towards energy sufficiency for Nigeria will not be scuttled by any vested interests, as these will incur the wrath of the people.
“We commend the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu for putting national interest in the running of the ministry and urge him to continue on the path of promoting science for national development. We commend President Muhammadu Buhari for his steadfastness in reappointing Prof. Jidere to continue the good work he has done so far and consolidate on the achievements recorded so far. We urge President to keep up the trend of appointing capable hands to man key government agencies to ensure governance impacts on the lives of the people of Nigeria.
“Government should not allow itself to be swayed by these merchants of sentiments but continue on the path of change towards ensuring the people, who are the real owners of the Government, receive the appropriate benefits that should accrue to them. The government of the day has made it abundantly clear from the days of its campaigns that the old ways of doing things have to give way for higher standards and this decision is along that track.”