Senate rejects U.S.-based professor as electricity commission boss

Chambers of the Nigerian Senate used to illustrate the story.

The Senate has rejected the nomination of an American-based Nigerian professor, Akintunde Akinwande, as the head of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Mr. Akinwande was rejected for his failure to attend confirmation hearing.

The decision was announced Tuesday.

Other nominees for whom confirmation was sought by President Muhammadu Buhari, were cleared by the Senate.

The development followed the presentation of the report of the committee on power, steel development and metallurgy on the screening of the nominees for leadership positions at NERC.

Sanusi Garba was confirmed Vice-Chairman, while Nathan Shatti and Moses Arigu were confirmed as commissioners, respectively representing North East and North Central.

Dafe Akpeneve was confirmed for South South; Frank Okafor, South East and Musiliu Oseni, South West.

The Senate resolved that Mr. Buhari should forward another nominee for the position of chairman of NERC.

In October, amid reports Mr. Akinwande had rejected his nomination for the NERC job, he told PREMIUM TIMES that “I did not reject the nomination of the president,” Mr. Akinwande said. “I had scheduling difficulties which I had informed the concerned parties about.

“It is shocking to see all the reports flying around the Nigerian media and I will tell you they’re all fiction.”


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  • kunle akindude

    Why did he not attend the confirmation hearing? That is very rude and unbecoming of a nominee

  • Arabakpura

    That’s formality sake! He should have long been rejected!

  • Julius

    I don’t blame him. With people like Saraki as the Senate president, I wont show up either.

    • AryLoyds

      This fiasco is very funny , the Prof shoved RED CARD on their faces , and they now feel belittled , the senate are trying to save face , their own red card is too late , they think everything is all about contract and kick backs 🙂

      • Julius

        Yes oo. They think the prof gives a hoot of what they do. Funny indeed.

      • Höly Wähala

        The prof. said he did not refuse to attent their hearing due to scheduling conflicts, stop spreading falsehood. However, if I were the respected professor I wouldn’t want to taint my reputation by getting involved in a dysfuctional and visionless government… maybe, he has read the writing on the wall.

        • Mufu Ola

          “…….visionless government…” Like the type we had with NOI as “Coordinating minister”! Whatever that means.


    The mistake may not be his but is he even interested in the dirty politics going on in Nigeria. I am very sure they didn’t sought his consent before going ahead to include him among the nominees. He is a very straight forward person, honest and dedicated. He is the brain behind MIT-MISTI AFRICA, a very powerful Professor at MIT, I don’t even think he has the time.

    • share Idea

      There is more probability that the guy does not want the job considering several baggages bedeviling this administration.

  • Aminu Baba

    Good job NASS! Upon all the Nigerian professors and professional electrical engineers, you can’t find any to fit the post, you have cross over to America to get an “Andrew”!

  • Segun

    If this Professor was from the North, say Sokoto or Bornu or Katsina, would Senate have rejected him because he did not appear? Did we not allow a man contest Presidential elections even without Certipicate?

    • Titomatis

      Sorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry, the whole Northern Nigeria has no University Professor in anywhere in the US or UK. Maybe Herdsmen terrorists in Brazil

    • Lorgne

      Look at it from the positive side. The Prof is possibly rejecting the offer knowing the level of unseriousness in governance in Nigeria.

    • Kallah Bature

      Oh my God.I thought people like you are not in Nigeria anymore.I am mistaken.While people are contributing intelligently, you are busy chipping in your backward and parochial view.Please grow up.

    • Akiika

      This regional nonsense has messed some of you up real bad. How many Nigerians have you helped because they are from your region? Some of you are even too greedy to help your immediate family. The truth is that, it is ‘all man for himself’. So, what is the sense in looking everything through tribal, regional and/or religious prism? This is nothing but subconscious insanity.

  • Julius

    I agree. Some friends went back home to work for the government and they are all back now. Luckily they are professionals. The system stinks and discourage patriotism .I know

    • share Idea

      I’m 100% with you on this comment…”The system stinks and discourage patriotism”

      • Julius

        Indeed. Thanks ! I mean your own family will warn you to be careful, No come hia dey think and wan do like you do in America. Its scary bro.

    • Höly Wähala

      After what NOI saw and their ignorant bashing of Nigerians from the diaspora, only a pfool would leave his cozy abode and job abroad to go and mingle with untamed animals in a lawless country… the prof. had better stay put until sanity returns to that country. Yawa place…

      • marc umeh

        Until sanity returns ?
        When will that be ?

        • Höly Wähala

          After restructuring which is inevitable… maybe, not in our life times but, surely!

      • Julius

        I agree jare. Yeye people..

  • Gary

    Professor Akinwande was likely having second thoughts about leaving his position at MIT to serve a government constantly in the news for all the wrong reasons. I don’t blame.
    Anyone with a conscience and reputation to protect will think twice before serving an incompetent regime with a sectarian agenda. The Great Ife alumnus is neither hungry nor a political jobber. Good for him.

  • Invictus

    As much as I’d love to agree with you, people like Saraki are the major reason system has not improved. The erudite professor will surely not want to be involved with such retrogressive people.

  • Nta Ekeng

    No sane professional of outstanding repute like Prof. Akinwande ll bow before an illiterate despot, a house populated with corrupt religious bigots nor take instructions frm a corrupt puppet so called minister. The job needs Prof Akinwande, if they are serious, it’s their duty to go to him. A sick person goes to the doctor for treatment and not the other way round.

    • Mufu Ola

      Mr Ette too is talking!But Akinwande can bow for a white man.Right?Colonial mentality that have tied down your likes down is still on march.

  • Höly Wähala

    The prof made a wise decision of snubbing Nigeria and their yeye job offer, only a pfool would leave his comfort and job security abroad to return to a lawless crime scene called Nigeria to mix-n-mingle with untamed, unarmed robbers called politicians and the polity… The good prof. probably talked to Dr. NOI and has seen what Dr. Kachikwu is going through at the hands of convicted druglord Bola Tinubu, et al. I understanding it was sheduling conflict that forced Prof. Akinwande to steer away from the confirmation hearing and I truly hope he ignores this rash decision by the Senate of crooks and not accept the job for the sake of his reputation, Nigeria is a crime scene… Shikena!

    • 678

      Holy Wahala, you are just too much. At least you make sense for now since I know you. Thank you.

    • Mufu Ola

      Anybody taking “tutorials” from NOI must be a certified dumb. Not with her destruction of Nigerian economy under her stoic watch.

  • marc umeh

    He should have declined or removed his name from contention. It smarks of condescension for someone to not appear for confirmation when invited.
    And professorship should not even be a requirement for such a position. Trump is choosing hardcore business giants for a reason. There are NO professors in his incoming admin . In my book , HONESTY and hands-on experience is what we need. America and Europe were NOT built by professors.

    • Gary

      Serious people who want to make a contribution to their country or society will look for a fit with a government which reflects their vision. The experience of NOI in her first and second runs in government shows that.
      It is not about being a Professor or Diasporic snobbery. You shouldn’t accept just any job offer unless you’re desperate for one.
      There has to be a good fit between employer and employee for their mutual benefit and satisfaction. For instance Femi Adesina is a perfect fit for the temperament, vision and skills set preferred by the man who employed him as Media Adviser.

      • marc umeh

        I totally agree. All I am saying is that one should decline gracefully with respect for those who thought him fit for the position..

        • aisha ani

          Professor Akinwande already informed all the concerned parties, the man is a professional to the core.

  • kenny

    Who rejects who?

    • Akiika


  • tsunami1earthquake

    And who is telling fiction now? I remember reading about this guy at that time. Little did I realize the guy was speaking from both corners of his mouth. Some people in the Diaspora think that Nigerians back home are all dumb-dumb and will always bow before these Diaspora people.

    No need even attempting to present him again because doing that and confirming him would just ground the NERC. There are many other Nigerians that could be presented to do this work.

  • El Patron

    I heard from a friend at MIT that the school management refused to let the prof leave. He must be very valuable to them. Anyway, its time to get someone from one of our top Universities or any other qualified expert for that matter

    • Gary

      Professor Akinwande has top level US national security clearance and supervises doctoral students in Engineering research funded with DoD grants.
      The man ain’t small potatoes to come and be saying “yes sir” to Fashola or Buhari.

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  • Noble

    Why will FGN bother to “import” Yankees to head such an important organisation as NERC? Leaave them alone they have checked out as they could not bear the hardship in Naija. Let Naija be salvage by true Nigerians but not by Naija-Yankees.

  • uzodimms

    NERC is a complete sham made of people who accept bribe from power providers and tell Nigerians they have enforced the installation of meters, today they have come up with their usual meters provision abracadabra.
    No meaningful and well placed professor will leave his job to come and head robbers. If Nigerians determine to stop this NERC robbery with DISCOS they will achieve it, other sitting on the fence and allow herself robbed. I strongly believe Nigerian power problem will be solved anyday determines to attack NERC and DISCOS head-on.