by Akan Ido
Though no reason was given by the Federal Government for the sack of the director-general of the Bureau of Public Enterprises yesterday, observers attribute it to the controversies surrounding the management contract for the Transmission Company of Nigeria awarded to a Canadian firm, Manitoba Hydro International.
The Presidency had earlier released a statement announcing the cancellation of the contract because of alleged infractions in the award process on the part of the BPE under Onagoruwa’s watch – a decision which was later denied by president Goodluck Jonathan during a media chat.
The two-paragraph statement announcing Onogoruwa’s sack read thus: “The Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Ms. Bolanle Onogoruwa, has been relieved of her appointment with immediate effect. She is to hand over to the most senior Director in the Bureau, Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki, who is to hold the position in an acting capacity.
“Mr. President extends his sincere appreciation to Ms. Bolanle Onogoruwa for her services to the nation and wishes her the best in her future endeavours.”
Analysts believe the FG may have bowed to pressure from the National Assembly which has severally shown its discontent at the conduct of the BPE D-G.
Reports say the Senate had recently adopted the report of its ad-hoc committee on privatization and commercialization, which called for Onagoruwa’s sacking for alleged gross incompetence in the management of the process and for alleged illegal and fraudulent sale of the 5 per cent of Federal Government’s residual shares in the Eleme Petrochemicals Company Limited.
While reacting to the sacking, the chairman, senate committee on public accounts, Senator Ahmed Lawan,welcomed the FG’s action, he recommended a criminal investigation into the activities of past BPE DGs with a view to sanctioning them if found culpable.
“In addition to what has happened (Onagoruwa’s sack), the federal government should implement the resolutions of the Senate.
“When the Senate takes a resolution, it is in the interest of Nigerians, and not hurt anyone,” Lawan concluded.