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Finance Minister returns Amobi as NBET boss

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has again reinstated Ms Marylin Amobi, as the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) and inaugurated the board of the agency recently moved to her Minister by President Muhammadu Buhari. 

Monday’s reinstatement pits her against her Power Ministry counterpart, Saleh Mamman, who  had on two separate occasions recommended her sack.

Until late last year, NBET was under the Power Ministry before President Muhammadu Buhari moved it to the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning following a faceoff  between Mamman Amobi on December 24, 2019.

Amobi and her former Minister had allegedly clashed on several occasions.

Finance Minister, Mrs  Ahmed had inaugurated the new NBET board on May 7, where she sits as the Chairman with Amobi as the Chief Executive Officer.

However, penultimate Monday, the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, revealed in a statement that Mr Nnaemeka Ewelukwa would succeed Amobi as NBET boss following presidency’s approval that she proceeded on terminal leave with immediate effect.

Mamman said he received approval from the President to appoint Ewelukwa, NBET General Counsel and Secretary, as the new Managing Director.

“He is to succeed Marilyn Amobi, as substantive Managing Director/CEO, while the former MD is to handover and proceed on terminal leave with immediate effect,” the letter from the Minister of Power read.

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However, a letter from the Ministry of Finance, said the president has approved that Amobi be allowed to serve out her tenure which ends on July 24.

The letter which was dated June 15, the same date as Mamman’s, was attached to a June 8 memo signed by Ibrahim Gambari, the President’s Chief of Staff.

Mamman and Ewelukwa were copied in the letter, signed by Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance.

“The President has approved that you serve out your tenure at the completion of which you should hand over to Nnaemeka Ewelukwa who is to take over from you as the MD/CEO. Your appointment which took effect from July 25, 2016, for four years is to end on July 24, 2020,” the letter from the Ministry of Finance read.

Meanwhile, while speaking at the inauguration of the re-constituted Board of NBET in Abuja on Monday, the Finance Minister had pushed for urgent deregulation of the power (electricity) sector, as she stressed  that the current situation was forcing Nigerians to pay more for power. “Electricity deregulation is still evolving in Nigeria, and the country is basically learning as the privatised market evolves. However, we do not have all the time, as the longer it takes, the more costly it is financially for Nigerians and the country at large.”

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She, therefore, urged members of the new board to work assiduously to ensure that their tenure in the transitional market trading arrangement brings good tidings to the country.

Ahmed noted that the new board was necessitated by the challenges of the power sector, particularly with regards to NBET achieving its mandate.


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