Ethics & Corruption Nigeria: Where Is Professor Bart Nnaji And Why Did Goodluck Jonathan Fire Him As Then Minister Of Power?

Professor Bart Nnaji is Nigeria’s former Minister of Power who has also served as Minister of Science and Technology. Before venturing into politics, Nnaji had garnered quite a number of notable achievements which include being the first black man in American history to be bestowed with the title of Distinguished Professor of Engineering, the first African to write a book which was declared the best book in manufacturing engineering of the year throughout the world, the first Nigerian to be honored by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as the African Scientist of the Year,  the first Blackman to graduate as the best student of the year at St John’s University in New York which was then 120 years old, the first indigene of Enugu State to win the Nigerian National Order of Merit which is Nigeria’s highest honor for intellectual and artistic achievement, the first Nigerian to build a power plant, and the first minister to raise electricity generation in Nigeria to almost 5,000 megawatts, amongst others.

Prior to becoming Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Nnaji returned from the USA under Obasanjo’s administration and developed the Aba INTEGRATED Power Project (Aba IPP) based on a Lease Agreement with the Federal Government of Nigeria. The Obasanjo Administration had initiated the Power Sector reform in 2004, which led to the privatization of the sector in 2011, under President Goodluck Jonathan. However, the government backed out of the terms of the Agreement by failing to offer the needed support to the project developers during the power sector privatization of state-run companies in an attempt to end Nigeria’s chronic power shortage.

In August 2012, Professor Nnaji reportedly resigned from his position as Nigeria’s Ministry of Power. In August 2017, Goodluck Jonathan’s former Special Assistant on New media, Reno Omokri, in a bid to defend his boss on allegations that Jonathan failed woefully during his regime said that Jonathan fired two of his ministers-  Nnaji and Stella Oduah – over corruption allegation, while the current administration is shielding government officials accused of corruption. In a swift response, Nnaji debunked this claim and stated in an interview that his resignation was voluntary and to protect his integrity without any corruption allegation hanging on his neck.

He further stated that he was still in possession of a copy of his resignation letter and that two days after his resignation, the former president confirmed publicly that he did not commit any offense.

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