Buhari’s Nominee for Chairmanship of NERC Says He Has Not Rejected Offer

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Seeks MIT’s permission to appear before senate
Tobi Soniyi

Prof. Akintunde Ibitayo Akinwande, nominated for the Chairmanship of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has said he will honour an invitation for screening by the Senate after clearing with his current employer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), U S A.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said a letter dated October 26, 2016, to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, sent through the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, quoted Akinwande as saying that he did not turn down the offer by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science explained that:
‘‘News reports in Nigeria that I have rejected President Buhari’s nomination to be Chairman of NERC have been brought to my attention.

‘‘I have the greatest respect for President Buhari. I am fully behind the change he has brought and is bringing to the way government business is conducted in Nigeria.

‘‘I am deeply honored that Mr. President and his team thought me worthy for this important national assignment and sought me out for it. I am a tenured professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ‘‘As such I am contractually constrained to seek formally the consent of the university for a leave of absence before presenting myself to the Senate for screening and if confirmed take on the assignment.’’

Akinwande apologised to the Senate Committee for not showing up for the screening process scheduled for Tuesday, October 25, 2017, noting that it was not out of disrespect for the institution.
The academic said he would be available for the screening after clearance from the MIT.