FROM NSUKKA TO ABUJA (THE RISE AND RISE OF PROF NEBO

Posted by Cosmas Asogwa On Wednesday, February 6, 2013 0 comments
Thanks to his remarkable performance as the VC of Enugu State University of Technology,  Professor Chinedu O. Nebo against all odds, clinched the coveted seat of the one and only university of Nigeria, Nsukka  (June 2004 - June 2009).
As an undergraduate then, I can say without mincing words that the era of Professor Chinedu O. Nebo as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria Nsukka is best be captured by the Latin dictum: 'Veni, Vidi, Vici meaning I came, I saw, I conquered. Yes, he came to UNN; he saw how the University was at its lowest ebb following the unmitigated disaster inflicted upon the university community under the rein of  Prof. "Anything Goes"(Ginigeme) Mbanefo. Then he courageously confronted and conquered the evils bedevilling the university through massive erection of new lecture halls/theatres and administrative blocks, rehabilitation and modernisation of the old infrastructures, provision of essential services.

Like the gold fish that has no hiding place, Prof Nebo's short spell as the VC of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti ended with his nomination and appointment as the substantive minister of Power, a position hitherto vacant following the controversial exit of his statesman Prof. barth Nnaji who resigned from office in August 2012 over an allegation that he (Nnaji) was fronting for the president in the Privatisation exercise in the energy sector.
The president however delivered the final blow when he queried the former minister’s interest in one of the firms involved in the privatisation process. Prof. Nnaji told the president that he had disclosed to the National Council on Privatisation, that he used to have interest in one  of the firms bidding to buy the Afam Power plant in Enugu. An outraged President Jonathan, told the minister that he ought to have known that there would be conflict of interest in the exercise and after venting his anger at the minister, Nnaji threw in the towel by offering to step down as minister. The president, still seething, accepted it immediately.

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday deployed Prof. Chinedu Nebo to the power ministry as minister having been sworn in as minister on Monday. Before now, Prof Nebo had scaled through the screening of the Nigerian  Senate. 

A technical problem almost disrupted the screening session as the public address system in the Senate chamber malfunctioned when Nebo was being screened. But when he eventually took the stage, the lawmakers unanimously gave their nod for his appointment after he satisfactorily answered questions posed to them by senators.

Nebo, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria , Nsukka (UNN), practically turned the question and answer session into a lecture.
He thrilled the lawmakers with his mastery of contemporary issues in the country and the way forward.
Asked how he intends to deal with the mafia in the power sector, if appointed Minister of Power, Nebo said he would chase out the demons frustrating the growth of the sector.
He said some highly placed Nigerians still believe that witches are responsible for the problems in the power sector “but I believe that God will give me the power to chase out the demons in the power sector”.
He eulogised the immediate past Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, describing him as a “professional to the core, who was committed and did his best for the power sector but, unfortunately, something happened”.
The ministerial nominee said since he was aware that banana peels litter the landscape of the country, he would be careful.
He added that if made power minister, he would, God being on his side, chase out the demons in the sector.
The nominee also promised to study what is in place in the sector to enable him determine the best way to deal with the problems.
He also said power generation is grossly inadequate, considering the population of the country.
He noted that no house should be connected to the national grid, if it is not certified to be ready for connection.
Nebo said the country could create over 10,000 jobs by engaging those who would check houses that are ready for electricity connection.
On Ajaokuta Steel Complex, he described it as “a giant in comatose” and added that “by the spirit of God that giant will rise one day”.
Nebo said, “Sometimes, I weep for the country. If it is conspiracy problem that killed Ajaokuta, why do we allow ourselves to be used to injure our unborn children?
“We need more patriotism as a nation. Ajaokuta remains a giant in comatose, but by the spirit of God that giant will rise one day.”
He said that Ajaokuta Steel Complex and Delta Steel Rolling Mill should have turned the fortunes of the country around “but we missed it.”
Nebo also answered questions on insecurity, graduate unemployment and how to revive interest in the study of local languages.
Turaki spoke on how to combat insurgency, especially in the North, corruption, plea bargain, the petroleum industry and the electoral process.
After confirming the nominees, Senate President David Mark congratulated them and asked them to match their answers with performance.
‘To borrow the words of Professor Nebo, demons will not interfere in their performance.”
We wish him the very best

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