by Isi Esene
There are indications that Nigeria’s development partners particularly in the power sector are uncomfortable with the sudden change of guards in the power ministry while reforms were still in progress.
Reports say the country representatives from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), World Bank, European Union, United States government, and other development partners involved in the nation’s power sector met with representatives of the power ministry early yesterday demanding an assurance that Barth Nnaji’s resignation will not stall the ongoing reforms.
The minister of State, Darius Ishaku allayed their fears assuring them of the safety of their investments and the effective implementation of the power sector roadmap.
Meanwhile, the former minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, yesterday evening officially handed over to Ishaku three days after his unceremonious exit from the power ministry.
Nnaji assured stakeholders of the continued implementation of the reforms saying structures have been put in place to ensure its progress.
He said, “Governance is about structures. We need to continue to build on the existing structures we have established and get the sector to keep growing. The international community needs not to worry. A structure is in place to continue to grow power.”
In his statement at the handover ceremony, the minister of State, Darius Ishaku described Nnaji as a pillar of the power sector and expressed confidence that his legacies will be built upon to grow the sector.
“With the structure you have left behind, we will succeed. The foreign partners are yet to get over the shock. In fact, at a meeting we had this morning, many of them expressed worry over the development. But, we assured them that government is a continuum,” he assured.
We shall be observing to see the progress of the reform program with the exit of its principal driver.