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I’ll honour Senate screening for NERC job — Prof Akinwande

PROFESSOR Akintunde Ibitayo Akinwande, nominated for the Chairmanship of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has said that he will honour an invitation for screening by the Nigerian Senate after clearing with his current employer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States.

In a letter, dated 26th October, 2016, to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, sent through the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Sen. Ita Enang, Prof. Akinwande said he did not turn down the offer by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science explained that:
‘‘News reports in Nigeria that I have rejected President Buhari’s nomination to be Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission have been brought to my attention.

‘‘I have the greatest respect for President Buhari. I am fully behind the change he has brought and is bringing to the way Government business is conducted in Nigeria.

‘‘I am deeply honoured that Mr. President and his team thought me worthy for this important national assignment and sought me out for it.  I  am  a  tenured  professor  of  electrical  engineering  at  the  Massachusetts  Institute  of  Technology.

‘‘As such I am contractually  constrained  to  seek  formally  the  consent  of  the  university  for  a  leave  of  absence  before presenting myself to the Senate for screening and if confirmed take on the assignment.’’

Prof. Akinwande apologized to the Senate Committee for not showing up for the screening process scheduled for Tuesday, October 25, 2017, noting that it was not out of disrespect for the institution.

The academic said he would be available for the screening after clearance from the MIT.