NASENI Crisis : Jonathan Directs Labour Minister to Act on ASURI’s Petition



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By Jim Pressman, Freelance Contributing Editor

A lot more water has passed under the NASENI Bridge, as it were, since we broke the story on  Newsdiaryonline.com  of the multiple illegalities and public funds siphoning going on at the Idu-FCT based federal agency established as a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.

Related Story:Union Draws Battle line as Succession Tussle Tears NASENI Apart

It all began, you would recall, with the abridging of the lawful duration of the two-term tenure of former Director-General of NASENI, Prof. Oyeleke Olushegun Adewoye from the legal 5-years each, making ten, to 4 years each, amounting to only eight years.

By the time Prof. Adewoye discovered the discrepancy, he exploded and was able to extend his second term by only another year, before the compulsory retirement age stipulation of 65, caught up with him and he had no option but to quit.

Four other directors in the research institution, namely: Prof. C. Uwajagu, Engr. (Dr.) S.O. Momoh, Engr. Adnan and Engr. Olulade, were systematically  “dribbled” out of the way by both Prof. O.O. Adewoye and Dr. Mohammed Haruna to ensure the success of their “scheme.”

Besides the questioning of some top officials of the agency including a Director of Finance, within days of the publication online of our story, now one major step further is that the leadership of the NASENI Labour Union (ASURI) Congress, has dragged the Management of the federal agency via a petition before President Goodluck Jonathan, with a detailed expose of the wheeling and dealings supervised by Acting Director-General, Dr. Mohammed Haruna with the apparent tacit support of the umbrella Minister, Prof. Okon Ewa Bassey, alleged to be a major beneficiary of the underhand dealings at NASENI.

The president we learnt has also sent the petition, in which he has picked keen interest, to the Minister of Labour Barrister Emeka Wogu to mediate in the matters between ASURI and the Management and to promptly report back to the Presidency.

A copy of the latest petition made available to this reporter follows an earlier Press Release which handed a deadline to the Management of NASENI, to see to the removal of Acting Director-General of the agency and appoint a substantive DG, given that according to them, Dr. Mohammed Haruna is ab initio not qualified to occupy the seat even in an acting capacity, as he is said to be only a Director.


Furthermore, he had allegedly been drawing two salaries of about N900, 0000 from two positions – this was stopped on the raising of an alarm – as Director at the Okene – based Power Equipment and Engineering Material Development Institute (PEEMADI) and as Acting DG for longer already than the statutory six months, after which a substantive appointment is supposed to have been made, or the incumbent is confirmed if he or she is qualified.

The issue of budget implementation is currently a big debate on the front-burner of national discourse, and NASENI as an Agency of government presents an intriguing case study in the dubious and selfish, deliberate deviations from the common set goals of budgetary allocation, disbursements and implementation, or the absence of it – all in the bid to meet ulterior motives to the detriment of the nation and its citizens.



The Acting Director-General of NASENI is alleged to have bought into the “crafted” new Regulation of theirs, captioned System-wide Harmonization. The main motive of this strange document, this reporter gathered, is “to hack down” the experienced likely successor Directors in order to plant in their place, pliable ones, to cover his track and do the bidding of the chief beneficiaries at the umbrella Ministry of Science and Technology headquarters.

ASURI leadership in NASENI while wishing “to acknowledge your determination and resolve to move Nigeria to the next level by the rule of law,” stated that “Congress position reached on these demands is critical to restoring order in NASENI, particularly with the government intervention.”

NASENI Branch of ASURI is pushing the following demands:

Function of the Agency: Your Excellency, the NASENI Act as part of ensuring development says:

(1a)- Ensure that the national research and development system is managed outside the civil service system.                                                                                                      ANNEXTURE- 1A

RESOLUTION No.1

1-    That the six months acting regime of Dr M.S Haruna; be terminated forthwith in line with the COS(R&DI) & Public service rule provisions:

Section 6- ACTING APPOINTMENT                                                     ANNEXTURE-1B

SUBMISSIONS:

i-                   020601:   when made: when it is necessary that a particular duty post (of status not lower than senior clerical officer) should continue to be filled at a time when no officer of corresponding substantive rank is available for posting thereto…..

This was violated in the case of NASENI appointment of the acting DG/CE, as there were more senior officers on ground to have filled the position of the Acting DG/CE instead of Dr. M.S.Haruna.

Find below the list of the line Research Directors that were more senior and qualified to have acted as acting DG/CE.

S/N

NAME

YEARS AFTER PhD.

NO. OF YEARS AS DIRECTOR

DATE OF APPOINTMENT

1

Engr. Aliyu Maje                   ADNAN

8+

July                    2003

1

Engr. Prof. Christian O. NWAJAGU

25                             November 1987

8+

November,                       2003

2

Engr. Dr. Stephen O. MOMOH

25                               February 1987

8+

July,                           2003

3

Engr. Dr. Baba A.                  HASSAN

16                                    1996

2+

July,                                            2010

4

Engr. Dr. Mohammed S. HARUNA

4                                     2008

2+

July,                            2010

5

Engr. Dr. Mike                  NDINECHI

                                       2008

2+

July,                               2010

 

 

 

 

ii-                020602: not made unless necessary: …There may however be circumstances (such as compliance with statutory provisions) which necessitate the making of an acting appointment for a relatively brief period.

iii-              020603: not a form of trial promotion: Acting appointments are not intended as a means of testing the suitability of officer for promotion; they will normally be made only in order to fill posts that are temporarily vacant and their duration should be limited accordingly.

iv-              020604: procedure: …Approved acting appointment will be gazetted by the federal civil service commission but it will on no account be back dated to a period in excess of six months of the date of receipt of the recommendation by the commission.

v-                020605: date of commencement: …Normally the gazette date of commencement will be that on which the acting officer takes  over the duties and responsibilities of the post

vi-              That the acting Director General/CE, Engr. Dr. Mohammed Haruna, assumed duty as Director in July 2010 and was made acting Director General on 30th March, 2012 less than two (2) years of being a Director. He was a Senior lecturer in the Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna on grade level CONTISS 12/08 salary when he was employed. Ab initio, he was not qualified to be employed as a Director of research which is contrary to advertised requirement (CONTISS 15) for the position of Director, Power Equipment and Electrical Machinery Development Institute (PEEMADI), Okene.    

*Find attached the News Paper advertisement of page 56, THISDAY, vol.14, No.5160 Monday, June 8, 2009.

 


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