Tuesday 1 August 2023

Senate President Defers Petition Against El-Rufai as ministerial nominees screening continues

There was uproar in the on Tuesday as the Senate continue its screening of ministerial nominees of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu with the appearance of Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

After introducing himself, some senators had argued that the former governor should be accorded the privilege of ‘bow and go’ which was given to former governors and minister already screened by not being subjected to questioning by the senators.

Some of the Senators had praised El-Rufai, noting that the former governor has an enviable record of achievements in all the positions he has held.

However, a senator from Kogi State Sunday Karimi threw spanner in the works of when after acknowledging that the former governor indeed has a sterling record in his public service career, he has a petition against him on the insecurity in Southern Kaduna under his leadership.

Karimi, who raised up a brown envelope said , “Mr President, I have a petition written against the nominee over the issue of insecurity when he was the governor. I will like to read it.”

The comment by the Senator led to rowdiness and unease in the red chamber.

However, Senate President Godswill Akpabio refused to allow Karimi to read the petition.

Consequently, other senators had throw questions to the former governor on how to tackle the perennial challenges in the power sector.

While explaining that the aim of President Bola Tinubu was to ensure that power outage become a thing of the past in the country in the next seven years, El-Rufai said he will work with other stakeholders to deliver on the promise if he was appointed to superintend the sector.

He added that the problem of transmission and distribution must also be addressed as the country has an installed capacity of 13,000 megawatts but cannot transmit more than 5,000 megawatts at a time.

The former Governor said the ownership of the power distribution companies, injection of fresh capital and amendment of laws guiding the sector are other issues that must be tackled to solve Nigeria’s power challenges.

The Governor had tried to respond to the petition by the Kogi Senator after answering the questions, but he was stopped by the Senate President.

“This is not a place to consider petition. We will sit with the petitions later and refer them to relevant authorities, said Akpabio who noted that there have also been petitions against other nominees.

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