King Salman Fires Saudi Electricity & Water Minister After Price Hike Complaints

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman issued a royal decree on 23 April relieving Minister of Electricity and Water ‘Abd Allah al-Husain of his duties. The king appointed Minister of Agriculture ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Fadhli to run the electricity and water portfolio on an interim basis, state news agency SPA reported.

The King’s influential son Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, who among numerous other roles chairs the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, which oversees Saudi energy, told Bloomberg earlier this month that the electricity and water ministry’s implementation of increased water tariffs was “unsatisfactory.”

Mr Husain’s sacking, coming two days before Prince Muhammad announced his Saudi Vision 2030 plan to transform the kingdom’s energy sector and economy (see p12), suggests the prince is working to tighten his control over the energy sector. Saudi Aramco’s two top officials Chairman Khalid al-Falih and President and CEO Amin Nasser, both appointed to their new roles after his father King Salman came to the throne, quickly issued a statement in support of Prince Muhammad’s strategy (see p6).


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