The staff of Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, ARCN, have passed a vote of confidence on the new Executive Secretary, Prof Garba Sharubutu and warned detractors to allow him deliver the mandate of the institution, which is critical to national development.
They expressed the confidence at a solidarity rally held in Abuja on Tuesday.
Addressing the crowd of workers, who held placards with various inscriptions, the Head of Administration, Dr John Enesi-Edeki noted that the new Executive Secretary has been busy righting several missteps of the establishment since assumption of office.
“He has made great strides in restoring the image of the ARCN and this has positively impacted on all the institutes and colleges under the supervision of the council.
“The board is very comfortable with the council under the leadership of Prof Sharubutu, at this point, nothing can be done anymore to cover the grade’ A’ status of the parastatal which has been restored under the new executive secretary.
“We just want to agree with what the unions have said and being the director of administration, I know what they have said to be true and we appreciate you all. Enough is enough for negative happenings in this place,” Dr Enesi-Edeki said.
On his part, the Chairman of Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals and Research Institute, SSATHRURAI, ARCN branch, Mr Aminu Abdullahi noted that selfish interests had bogged down the progress and expected impact from ARCN since inception, until the arrival of Prof. Sharubutu.
“As a classified parastatal ‘A’, we are supposed to be at the same level with CBN and NNPC but rather everything has been going down based on selfish interests, staff don’t enjoy trainings and even the monitoring and evaluation which is our major mandate we were not performing it effectively as demanded.
“We have about 15 research institutes and 11 colleges of agriculture under ARCN which we are supposed to monitor and report on, but unfortunately there was always an excuse not to monitor and report on them despite monetary allocations for that purpose. We have been talking but only getting fake promises.
“Now we are fortunate enough to get Prof Sharubutu, who has the zeal to restore the image of ARCN, but his achievement has made detractors uncomfortable and they are busy writing baseless petitions because they want to return to their looting ways.
“Before now all these brand new project Hilux trucks were grounded due to vandalism and deliberate mismanagement, but the ES has come to say no to all those underhand dealings and has fixed all of them, that is why they are uneasy,” he said.
The Chairman of Non Academic Staff Union, NASU, Mr Kayode Aiyedogbon in his remarks, noted that all the petitions written by the detractors of the new new ARCN boss, were very baseless because despite knowing the facts, they still wanted to bring down the person of Prof. Sharubutu.
“Everything he has done here is in line with the extant rules and regulations; conforms to the constituted authority and he got a letter of approval upon his posting here before being recognised as an official of ARCN.
“The minister appointed him as a director here from the Federal University of Agriculture Markudi, it was while here as a director that he was given the acting appointment as ES until it transmuted into a substantive appointment. The moment they saw the giant strides, they felt threatened by his landmark achievements and that is why they started writing series of petitions against him. The saboteurs do not want the system to flourish, their personal interest is all they are after and that will eventually run the establishment aground if not checked.
“This place constitutes three major unions and we all came out en masse including our management staff to show to the detractors that we are in the majority and no one can come out to disprove all our claims on the achievement of Prof Sharubutu or counter our accusations against them.
“He is also a welfarist who has the interest of staff at heart and has proven it during this current lockdown caused by the pandemic by providing food items for all staff through the unions,” he said.
Aiyedogbon added that the track record of Prof Sharubutu’s genius in revenue generation and financial prudence was there for all to see at the Federal College of Animal Health in Vom Plateau state, where he bought tractors, vehicles and built structures for the institution through a company he created for them.
“He is the right person we want on board at this critical time in this establishment and staff members have even tagged him as ‘bulldozer’ and ‘messiah’ and we see him as that,” he said.
Also speaking on behalf of members of ASURI ARCN Branch, the Union Chairman Mr Ajah Francis stated that at inception ARCN was having enough money to spend on its mandate, but that changed all of a sudden due to mismanagement and staff became stagnated.
“Today the ES has brought in a lot of innovation. Before he came on board, we were being told that ARCN had no money, but what surprised me was that, immediately he came on board he started the extension building which will accommodate a lot of staff and better improve their productivity, so the question is, where is he getting this money from if others before him claimed that there was no money?” he queried.