Why I fired Barth Nnaji – President Jonathan

Former president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan

The President reconstitutes membership of two presidential committees on Power

President Goodluck Jonathan fired the former Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji, to pave way for his aide, Reynolds Dagogo-Jack, because both men were engaged in constant power tussle as members of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Power the President said Wedneday in Abuja while inaugurating the reconstituted task force.

This remark puts paid to the contention whether Mr. Nnaji, a professor of Robotics, and chief executive geometric systems, an independent power company, voluntarily resigned or was shown the way out after a political dogfight that left him badly bruised.

Mr. Nnaji was the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Power, while the then Special Adviser to the President on Power, Reynolds Dagogo-Jack, doubled as Secretary of the task force and Special Adviser to the Minister of Power.

“We have done it (re-constituted the task force) this way, because the other time when Nnaji was the Chairman, the Secretary (Dagogo-Jack) was my own Special Adviser and he was also his(Nnaji) Special Adviser, and there was a lot of conflicts between the two of them, because they said two captains cannot drive the same ship. This time around, we want one captain and they (members of the task force) will work with him,” the president said, hinting clearly at a preference for the vision espoused by Mr. Dagogo-Jack on the future of power development in Nigeria.

The President said he would personally preside over the Presidential Action Committee (PAC) on Power as Chairman, with the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, as Deputy Chairman, while Mr. Dagogo-Jack would be given the chance to realise his long-sought wish to become the Chairman of the Presidential Task force (PTF) in the new dispensation.

According to the President, the PAC would be meeting every two weeks, and would have the Secretary of the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim; Head of Service of the Federation, Isa Bello Sali; the Chief of Staff to the President, Mike Oghiadomhe; and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke as members.

Other members of the committee include – Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Nwogu; Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke; Minister of National Planning, Shamsudeen Usman; Chief Economic Adviser to the president; Special Adviser to the President on Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation, Sylvester Monye; Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Bolanle Onagoruwa; Director General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Emeka Ezeh; Group Managing Director (GMD) Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, and Chairman, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission ( NERC), Sam Amadi.

Members of the reconstituted PTF include – the Managing Director/CEO, Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading PLC, Rumundaka Wonodi; CEO Transmission Company of Nigeria, Olusola Akinniraye; CEO Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, Abdulganiyu Umar; CEO Ugheli Power PLC, Paul Umunna, and CEO Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Oladele Amoda.

Other members are the Managing Director, Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), James Olotu; Managing Director, Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), Saidu Mohammed, and CEO, Geregu Power PLC, Adeyemi Adenuga, while the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Power, Dere Awosika, would provide the secretariat.

The new Minister of Power expected to be appointed soon, according to the President, would also join the committee.

We erroneously reported on Wednesday that the former Chief Economic Adviser to the President, Tanimu Yakubu was appointed into the newly reconstituted Presidential Action Committee (PAC) on Power. We have since found out that we made a mistake. We apologise. The correct name is the incumbent, NWANZE OKIDEGBE.


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  • And where in this write-up did the President say he fired Nnaji?

    According to you, there were issues between Nnaji and Dagogo-Jack. Maybe this was why GEJ quickly accepted Nnaji’s resignation (i.e. it resolves the issue of 2 captains on a boat) instead of rejecting the resignation (some people including El Rufai had said GEJ should not have accepted the resignation). But you have no evidence to conclude he fired Nnaji.

    Another piece of sensational headline from PremiumTimes

    • Chukwuemeka Benjamin

      why is it difficult for you to see that when the state house claimed Nnaji resigned it was indeed the case that Jonathan off loaded him. The world will be better when a man like Jonathan owns up to his actions and inaction…read between the lines always Mayo. This is an accurate reflection of the facts and I appreciate that only premium Times could go beyond the official word play.

    • Ogirima

      You probably did not pass SSCE english language

      • Firing someone and accepting someone’s resignation because it suits your purpose are two different things.

        El Rufai wondered why GEJ did not reject Nnaji’s resignation. This COULD be a reason. It is still not the same thing as firing NNaji. It is simply capitalizing on an opportunity you were given to remove a headache you have.

  • SilentObserver

    Another committee? What an archaic and mundane approach to tackling a serious issue as power in Nigeria. It always befuddle the minds of sane individuals why Nigerians think they can invent their own inefficient ways of doing things, yet expect to achieve outcomes comparable to global standards? With the size and composition of this committee, there is serious doubts if anything substantial can be achieved.

  • gwobezentashi janinjaka

    “Chief Economic Adviser to the President, Tanimu Yakubu”
    Haba Premium Times!!!

    • Pure

      Who is the Chief Economic Adviser?

  • lozzyfather

    please premium times check your story, when did Tanimu Yakubu become GEJ’s chief economic adviser?

  • uduakomiri

    I guess Dagogo-Jack is GEJ’s homeboy, and his special adviser, so instead of choosing experience over friendship, he chose the later yet this mugu fisherman president will turn round to whine like a coward that he is the most criticised president on earth.
    Nnaji, among the long list of lazy, incompetent ministers in muguluck jonathan’s cabinet appears to be the only one who not only knows the terrain he is assigned to but has had many years of hands-on experience and we could see a glimmer of results trickling in. More could have been done but in Nigeria, even if you are exceptional in your field the pack of dinosaurs in the government will make things impossible. Our officials are not just corrupt, they are lazy, pompous, nasty terribly envious egomaniacs. There egos are bigger than waves of the atlantic ocean.
    Yet I’ll blame Nnaji for not being conscious of the traps of an envious enemy who sits in the same office with him, his daggers drawn waiting to stab him from the back. Now that Nnaji is gone, it is obvious Dagogo Jack will need a miracle to turn the power sector around considering he has no prior experience in a hugely technically demanding sector that is booby trapped by the greed of businesses and politicians who rake in easy millions from power generation contracts that never get completed, importation and distribution of generating sets, and sundry conduit channels.
    “When a country falls into the hands of morons, nothing works and everything becomes a mess”

    • angryniger

      good one, talking of SUV’s I wonder what happened to the 200 cars madam perm sec patience jonathan acquired for the first lady’s conference? Does anyone know????

  • Hickey

    Convincing Jonathan must be a very liberal job considering Dagogo-Jack,Sanusi,Patience etc..