The Ministry of Lands, Mines, Energy and Natural Resources Deputy Minister for Administration-designate, has assured a Senate confirmation hearing that as a public servant his patriotism remains unquestionable, while his loyalty and commitment to country are unflinching and surpass everything.
Mr. Jenkins Okika Atuanya told the Senate Committee on Lands, Mines, Energy and Natural Resources, that character and credibility play significant roles in setting the gauge to qualify a person for a high profile job like the one he has been nominated to occupy.
Believing that perfection is not common to humans, except Jesus Christ, Mr. Atuanya said it is important to add “some moral values to whatever we do in the public sector and this is where the issue of integrity comes into play.”
“Practically, for me, integrity is what you do when you are in your closet or your darkest corner, or locked behind your office door and no one is watching you. My inspiration of the years of service has been to serve my country and I do this with a great deal of respect and love for country, not engaging in unscrupulous acts,” declared Atuanya, who has served the ministry since 2012 as Assistant Minister for Administration and Comptroller.
Atuanya promised that if confirmed, he will keep track of all ongoing activities, especially the priority of bringing reliable and affordable electricity “to our people and re-strengthening the mining sector in the wake of the shock.” He admitted that the mining sector lacks sufficient manpower, especially in the area of supervisors and inspectors.
To the dismay of committee members, Mr. Atuanya disclosed that the shortage of inspectors is such that the ministry is constrained to use non-employees to serve as mining inspectors, who in turn pay themselves from what is realized from their field jobs.
Before his nomination, Atuanya served in the positions of Comptroller, Project Director, Executive Assistant, and Director for Administration and Finance, and currently Assistant Minister for Administration.
Also appearing before the Albert T. Chie-chaired Committee in the Conference Room of the Pro Tempore Armah Jallah last week, was Henry Sambola, who, as Assistant Minister for Administration-designate, is nominated to replace Atuanya.
Confirmation reports for both nominees are expected on the agenda for today’s sitting of the Senate.