TCN leadership change not condition for $174 million ADB loan, says Fashola

Babatunde Raji Fashola, Minister of Works, Power and Housing.

Works got N301.85b allocation
The appointment of Usman Gur Mohammed as the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) was not a condition for the granting of $174 million to Nigeria by the African Development Bank (ADB)

His appointment had generated uproar as the electricity workers union protested to the Senate seeking a reversal of the decision.

At a meeting yesterday, Power, Works and Housing minister, Babatunde Fashola, told the Senate and House of Representatives joint committee that Mohammed’s appointment in place of Atiku Abubakar, an engineer did not breach any law because according to him, the position had been vacant.

He explained that the appointment cannot be reversed because it was done in compliance with a presidential directive, adding that the president had the prerogative of making any political appointment.

Fashola said:“Let me say it on record and with every emphasis and clarity that this appointment has nothing to do with the ADB loan. ADB did not recommend its officer. We asked for him because there was institutional record on his performance in government before he took up the appointment with ADB. The terms and conditions of the ADB loans had been settled long before this matter came up.”

The minister further explained that Muhammed had previously worked in the Nigerian power sector for 17 and half years as head of finance.

Uneasy calm prevailed at the headquarters of TCN yesterday.

Meanwhile, the minister disclosed that the works sector received only 53 per cent of the over N300 billion appropriated to it in 2016.

He made this known at the ongoing 2017 budget defence before the Senate Committee on Works in Abuja

Fashola said although the entire ministry was allocated N456. 94 billion in the 2016 budget, works section had N301.85 billion allocation.
He, however, said that the ministry’s capacity to implement the budget had been directly related to the monies released to it.

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