The erstwhile Godfather of Edo Politics,Chief Tony Anenih has been named as chairman of of the board of Nigeria Ports Authority,NPA.The appointment was announced through a statement by Anyim Pius Anyim, Secretary to the Government of Federation on Thursday.
The statement said President Goodluck Jonathan actually gave approval to the appointment of board of directors for some agencies of the federal government, namely Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and Nigerian Maritime Administration, Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Transmission Company of Nigeria ,TCN
Apart from Anenih, Mrs. Florence Ita-Giwa, Hon. Hamza Dan Mahawi, Sen. Lekan Mustapha, Alhaji Aminu Baba Danagundi, Mr. Austin Enyonnia Cosmos and a representative of the Ministry of Transport were named as board members of NPA.
The statement said Lt. Col Agbu Kefas (rtd) will is the chairman of NIMASA board while Ibrahim Mark, Alhaji Hassan Baba, Alhaji Aliyu Usman, a representative of the Ministry of Transport, a representative of the Ministry of Labour, and a representative of the Navy will also serve as members.
Furthermore,Mr. Funsho Lawal emerged as Chairman of the board of CAC. The board members include Alhaji Sanusi Maijama’a, (Representative of NACCIMA), Mr. Okoro Osita Franklin (Representative of. NBA), Chief Mrs. Elizabeth Omereson, (Representative of ICAN), and Dr. Ausbeth. Ajagu, (Representative of .MAN) Edosa Aigbekeen, (Representative of SEC), N. Salma-Mann, (Representative of Ministry of Trade and Investment), Prof. Adedeji Adekunle (Rep. Min of Justice) and Representative of the Federal Ministry of Finance.
The TCN Supervisory Board has Mr. Hamman Tukur as chair while former Skye Bank Managing Director Akinsola Akinfemiwa is Vice-Chairman.Other members include Director of Human Resources Management, Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Representative of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy/ Minister of Finance, Director of Power, Federal Ministry of Power, A Commissioner from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Representative of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Representative of the Generation.
But Anenih’s appointment is bound to raise eyebrows as the move may be interpreted to mean that the President truly doesn’t give a damn about how Nigerians feel.Anenih’s tenure as Minister of Works has remained controversial with questions being asked about billions of money allegedly paid without commensurate work done.Though Anenih has severally risen in defence of his records in office, the allegations linger.
Some Nigerians will argue this may be an attempt to rehabilitate Anenih as part of the plot to make him once again,chairman Board of Trustees of the ruling party.Or perhaps to position for a critical role ahead of the well –known but yet to be officially confirmed 2015 Jonathan reelection campaign.But the NPA board is a slippery ground.Chief Bode George who once headed that board ended up in jail after his conviction on corruption charges.
Also recently Jonathan was reported to be supporting Anenih’s emergence as the new BOT chairman after former President Olusegun Obasanjo surprisingly resigned from the office months ago.In fact political watchers were shocked that a new BOT leader could not be elected at a recent meeting aimed at doing so at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.The BOT election is now scheduled to hold January2013.
Whether this new appointment is truly an indication that Anenih has been given another ‘strategic’ assignment ,or that he is indeed being empowered toward the BOT chairmanship election remains unclear.
It is a fact though that Anenih’s influence as Mr –Fix- It on the political scene has waned especially in his home state of Edo with the emergence of Governor Adams Oshiomhole of ACN. Anenih’s PDP received a resounding trouncing at the last gubernatorial elections there .And it in the light of this, it is unclear, exactly why Jonathan is rehabilitating Anenih now.