On The Protesting Workers of the Energy Commission of Nigeria: Our Stand

Press Release

The attention of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) has been drawn to a news story in your media on the strike action by the Association of Senior Civil Servants of the Energy Commission of Nigeria
The Ministry is compelled to react to the portion of the allegations by the Union that N11 million was irregularly transferred into the account of the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology.
This allegation is as baseless as it is untrue. No money was ever raised in favour of the Honourable Minister. Rather, the money in question was incurred by the Energy Commission to fund the travelling expenses of Nigeria’s delegation to the last Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), held at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate in January, 2017. The delegates to the Assembly, who were accredited by the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, comprised of officials from both the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) and the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN).
Nigeria’s delegation comprised, among others, the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, the Director-General of the Energy Commission as well as the Director/Technical Adviser to the DG. The Honourable Minister is expected to serve as Head of Delegation.
It is important to stress that the Energy Commission of Nigeria is the focal agency for the co-ordination of matters relating to Nigeria’s membership of IRENA while the FMST is the focal Ministry.

IRENA is an inter-governmental agency established in 2009 with headquarters in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and with membership of over one hundred and eighty (180) countries. Its objectives are to promote the widespread and increased adoption and the use of all forms of renewable energy. These types of energy include, inter alia, bio-energy, hydropower, solar, wind, ocean tides and waves as well as geothermal energy.

Nigeria is one of the leading 75 founding members of IRENA, having actively participated in its formation since the inception of the Preparatory Conference in Madrid, Spain in October 2008 to its full fledged establishment in 2011. Throughout the formative stages of the Agency, Nigeria played key roles in the activities of the Preparatory Commission and Administrative Committee in the first two years of its birth between 2009 and 2011, leading up to our being full fledged member; after the formal ratification and adoption of the IRENA statute. Nigeria’s instrument of the ratification was signed by Mr. President on 25th August, 2010 to give full legal backing of our membership after the necessary approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its sitting on 28th July, 2010.

Since 2009, the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) and its Director General/CEO have been granted the right to serve as the designated IRENA Focal Agency in Nigeria as well as Nigeria’s representative, including responsibility for payment of the statutory assessed Nigeria’s financial obligations to the Agency in line with its legal mandate to “liaise with all international organizations in Energy matters.” Nigeria has been up-to-date in meeting its financial obligations to IRENA.

Nigeria’s delegation to IRENA Assembly meetings, which holds once every year, usually in early January, is headed by the Minister of Science and Technology. During the Assembly, there is also IRENA Legislators Forum. For Nigeria, the Ministry supervising Energy Commission of Nigeria (as represented by the Minister of Science and Technology) leads the delegation. It must be reiterated that Nigeria’s participation at the conference has been useful and beneficial to the country. During the 2017 Assembly, the Honourable Minister was able to secure for Nigeria the position of Vice-President of the Assembly up to 2018. The Assembly is the highest decision making body of the Agency.
Energy Commission of Nigeria, being the National Focal Agency for Nigeria supports all members of the National delegation through its budgetary provisions.

The Honourable Minister, having served in public office for some time is known for his discipline and a man of impeccable character who has demonstrated high moral standard and integrity in piloting the affairs of the Ministry. In fact, since his assumption to the office in November 2015, the Minister has been piloting the affairs of the Ministry in a very prudent and transparent manner in line with the zero tolerance for corruption of the present administration.

We expected the Media, as a critical stakeholder in nation building and democracy to have sought the view of the Ministry on this matter in line with the ethics of the profession that truth is constant while facts are sacred before going to press.

It is important to mention that the Ministry’s doors are wide open to the media in case it needs to verify the truth of any matter, in future, before rushing to the Press.

The leadership of this Ministry is committed to promoting the best management practices possible so as to achieve the objectives of taking science and technology to the next level.

AbdulGaniyu Aminu
Deputy Director (Press & PR)
Office of the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology