Buhari appoints new chair for Nigeria’s electricity regulatory body, NERC

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated James Momoh, a professor, for the position of Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), a statement by the presidency has said.

The President’s nominee to the Senate for confirmation is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; and Director of Energy Services and Controls at Howard University, United States of America.

Mr. Momoh, a Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Fellow of the Nigeria Society of Engineers, has over three decades of teaching and research experience in power system, smart grid, optimisation and power communications.

The 1987 recipient of the National Science Foundation-US White House Presidential Young Investigator Award is a widely published scholar and has held several professional leadership positions in the academia.

Prof Momoh has a Doctorate degree in electrical engineering from Howard University; Master’s degrees in systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania; and electrical engineering from Carnegie University.  He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1975 from Howard University.

“President Buhari strongly believes that Prof Momoh has the technical knowledge, capacity and integrity to lead the Commission’s effort to bring about the much needed change in Nigeria’s power sector,” the statement by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on media and publicity, said.

President Buhari had in July 2016 appointed Akintunde Akinwande, a U.S.-based Nigerian engineer and professor,  to the position.

But after claiming scheduling difficulties for months, Mr. Akinwande, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, failed to show up in Nigeria to take up the position.

The university don was due to appear before the Senate Committee on Power for screening in October, but his absence stalled the proceeding.

Subsequently, Enyinnaya Abaribe, chairman of the senate committee, postponed the exercise indefinitely.

Reporters then concluded that Mr. Akinwande’s non-appearance meant he had forfeited the nomination.

But Mr. Akinwande told PREMIUM TIMES at the time that he only had scheduling difficulties.

“I did not reject the nomination of the president,” he said at the time. “I had scheduling difficulties which I had informed the concerned parties about.”

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