Bartholomew Nnaji, Nigeria’s Minister of Power, has resigned from the cabinet of President Goodluck Jonathan. A statement from the Presidency said Mr. Jonathan had accepted Mr. Nnaji’s resignation with immediate effect.
Mr. C.Don Adinuba, who acted as a senior aide to Mr. Nnaji, also confirmed the minister’s departure from the government.
Prior to returning to Nigeria to set up Geometric Power, a company that engaged in power technology, Mr. Nnaji, who earned a PhD from Virginia Tech, served as a professor of industrial engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as well as University of Pittsburgh.
Mr. Nnaji’s tenure as minister has been mired by recent controversy. Despite testimonies by some Nigerians that power supply had improved under his control, critics had accused him of spending too much money to enable him buy good reports in the media. In addition, labor union leaders have recently questioned his management of their pension fund. Also, recent reports have emerged that companies linked to Mr. Nnaji were engaged in a bid to buy over power plants slated for privatization by his ministry.
A source in the Presidency told SaharaReporters that President Jonathan demanded that Mr. Nnaji resign.
The source disclosed that President Jonathan used the recent occasion of the ceremony where ministers were made to sign performance bonds to demand that his ministers submit letters of resignation in advance.
Saharareporters contacted an associate of the former minister who confirmed that accounted. We tried to corroborate that account with a source close to the former minister, but he did not return our call.