The appointment last week of former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih as Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority is another step backward for the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
For many years, Chief Anenih has been a prominent figure in subsequent administrations holding one sensitive position or another and having nothing to show for it at the end of his tenure, yet President Jonathan could find no other person but Anenih to head the NPA.
Chief Anenih as Minister of Works could not account for over N300billion budgeted to repair federal roads all over the federation. The federal roads for which these billions were budgeted have remained uncompleted, and have become death traps, many years after. Why the President would appoint such a person remains a puzzle to many Nigerians. Reactions that have trailed the appointment of Anenih are enough to judge how Nigerians feel about the appointment.
In the face of endemic corruption in the land, we wonder how Chief Anenih qualifies to chair the Board of Directors of the NPA.
President Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda would remain a mirage if he cannot seek out and appoint people who can lift Nigeria out of the cesspit of corruption we have found ourselves.
If a 79-year-old is the only man qualified to head the NPA, then something is wrong with Nigeria.
If Anenih, a former minister who was indicted by a National Assembly committee for mismanaging N300 billion during his tenure as Works Minister, is to chair the NPA board, then something is amiss. For a very long time, Nigerian leaders have been treating the citizens with contempt and the ruling party’s winner takes all attitude is not helping anybody.
Does it mean we do not have young vibrant professionals who can man that position? Must everything we do be based on political patronage? Have we quickly forgotten how the NPA, one of the most lucrative agencies after the petroleum ministry, was messed up by another PDP top notcher just a few years ago?
The fact that a National Assembly committee had once indicted Anenih disqualifies him from holding a sensitive position as board chairman of NPA. Why should we allow a man who has not cleared himself of corruption charges be allowed to head NPA?
The appointment of Anenih is an insult to any right thinking Nigerian. The state of the Lagos-Ibadan, Benin-Sagamu, Ilorin-Ibadan and Owerri-Onitsha among other federal highways is a pointer to the inefficiency of the Works Ministry during Anenih’s tenure.