Federal lawmakers questioned Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, over the decision of the federal government to appoint an African Development Bank (AfDB) official, Usman Gur Mohammed, as the new Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
Fashola, insisted that the appointment already endorsed by President Muhammadu Buhari was irreversible.
But Fashola said the new appointment was above his “pay grade to stop the change having received a presidential directive to carry out the change”.
He called the development, a matter of employer-employee relationship and “if government does not want to keep an employee there is nothing anybody can do.”
Fashola who added that political appointments are the exclusive preserves of the president, disclosed that the invitation of Mohammed to manage the TCN was not a foreign appointment but rather the recall of a Nigerian who had been on a continental assignment in AfDB to serve his country.
The committee Chairman, Senator Emyinnaya Abaribe, interjected and said the petition was written by the power sector union and not on behalf of anyone.
Fashola inisted that it was mischievous for anybody to suggest that a new appointment was made in the TCN because of Nigeria’s search for $174 million AfDB loan.
“There is no MD in the company. What provoked this investigation is the appointment of one person to manage the company.
“I will not sit down here and say that Manitoba team did add any value. They probably could have added more value.
“There was a lot of in-fighting between Manitoba team and the Nigerian team. There were a lot of petitions.
“This appointment has nothing to do with AfDB loan. We asked for him (Mohammed). The terms and conditions of AfDB loan have been settled.
“The issue of local content does not arise because we are dealing with a Nigerian who left to go to AfDB. Nobody on the Nigerian side is being asked to go home.
“This is simply a political appointment the president made. The president can choose the youngest person in the company to head the company. It is a government company”, he insisted