Buhari overrules power minister over REA MD’s suspension

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has reversed the suspension of Damilola Ogunbiyi as the managing director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).

In December, Sale Mamman, minister of power, ordered the indefinite suspension of Ogunbiyi.

He also ordered an investigation into alleged infractions by the agency under her.

Before her suspension, Ogunbiyi, first female MD of the REA, had tendered her resignation to take up a job as the UN special representative for sustainable energy and CEO of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll).

Although the president reversed her suspension, he accepted her resignation.

A letter directed to Amina Mohammed, UN deputy secretary-general, by the office of the secretary to the government of the federation, seen by TheCable, conveyed the directive of the president to the international organisation.

”Following the recent developments in the Nigerian power sector, I write to inform you that His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari has reviewed the situation and directed that the suspension of Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi, managing director (Rural Electrification Agency) be reversed for lack of due process” it read.

Ogunbiyi as REA MD is said to be responsible for negotiating within 18 months the Nigerian electrification project, which is a $550m facility (World Bank USD 350m and AfDB USD 200m) to rapidly construct solar mini-grids and deploy solar home systems across Nigeria.

She is also said to be responsible for the Energising Education Programme which will provide uninterrupted electricity to 37 federal universities and seven teaching hospitals through off-grid captive power.

THE CABLE

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