Buhari Appoints New NERC Chairman

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a new chairman for the National Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC after the initial appointee turned down the offer.

He is James Momoh, a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; and Director of Energy Services and Controls at Howard University, United States of America.

Momoh replaces Akintunde Akinwande, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, USA, who had been appointed to the position in 2016.

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Akinwade, however, appeared not interested, refusing to appear before the Senate screening committee, nor present himself before the Department of Security Services, DSS, for the necessary background checks.

He was subsequently disqualified by the Senate but reports had it at the time that necessary consultations were not carried out before Akinwade’s appointment was announced.

Momoh’s appointment as NERC chairman was announced by the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement on Friday.

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According to the statement, the new appointee is a life fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers as well as a Fellow of the Nigeria Society of Engineers.

He has over three decades of teaching and research experience in power system, smart grid, optimisation and power communications.

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

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Shehu noted that President Buhari is confident that 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”.