The Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria’s (PHCN) workers have described the circumstances which led to the sack of Prof. Barth Nnaji as minister of power as dirty.
On its part, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) advised the federal government to set-up a panel to investigate the level of corruption and unethical conduct of the former minister, just as the federal government has assured that the exit of Nnaji would not affect the ongoing reform in the power sector.
In a statement by the president of the TUC, Peter Esele, yesterday, the union said that the resignation of Nnaji would remove one of the basic obstacles to peace and industrial harmony within the power sector.
According to TUC, “The congress believes that this sets in motion the desired ambience for the actualisation of real reforms in the sector which will be transparent and people driven.”
The union said that the present reform in the sector is “dirty and heavily tainted” as Nigerian workers observed a prevalence of strong political interests in the mindless pursuit of the reform agenda under the former minister.
The trade union added, “It is unfortunate that vested interests would drive the process of reforms in the power sector which will therefore not be in the overall interest of Nigerian workers and the masses in general”, and observed that the interest of Nigerians under the erstwhile minister has proven to be a mirage “that is why we frown at the fact that a minister championing a reform in the power sector not only has controlling interest in some companies bidding to buy up some of the companies that have emerged from the unbundled PHCN but also owns companies who are major players within the power industry.”
The TUC affirmed that such act is dirty, unethical and morally wrong.
The statement added, “It is unacceptable to allow the same group of Nigerians to continue using the instrument of their offices to enrich themselves and their cronies through the heartless recycling of our collective wealth into their private pockets.
“Prof Barth Nnaji is not alone in this exercise of shameless pursuit of mundane and base interest within the federal cabinet. We believe there are others and we want to use this opportunity to call on such remaining officers both in the federal cabinet, departments and agencies to also find grace to remove themselves from office”.
The TUC urged President Goodluck Jonathan to quickly look for men and women and who can deliver Nigerian people from the clutches of darkness rather than engaging in fruitless chest trumping in the media.