Call for our dissolution by ASURI absurd – NACETEM Governing Board



Uba Group

The Governing Board of the National Centre for Technology Management has described the call for its dissolution by the Academic Staff Union of Research Institutes as absurd and one that stands logic on its head.

A statement by the Board Chairman, Haastrup Adewale Olatunji on Tuesday said, “A keen observer of the goings-on at NACETEM in the last six months will know that the impasse is a creation of ASURI who came up with unfounded allegations to scuttle a legitimate recruitment process.

“This was possible because it was done in collusion with the erstwhile Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Chief Ikechukwu Ikoh who had vested interest in the so-called appointed DG/CEO of NACETEM, one Dr Olusola Odusanya. It is therefore not surprising that ASURI, like a sinking man, is trying to cling to a straw with a view to finishing the hatchet man’s job they started ong ago.”

It said, “Ordinarily, the Board would not have joined issues with ASURI whose National Secretary, Professor Theophilus Ndubuaku, is a notorious rabblerouser whose only means of livelihood is profiteering from unionism, years after he had left the public service, but the spurious allegations in the letter signed by him and circulated to the press need to be corrected so as not to mislead the public.

“The Board has nothing against Dr Sola Odusanya as a person. He responded to the call for application for the position of DG/CEO of NACETEM,as did ten (10) others,by the Board but have not made it to the shortlisting stage, when a development which led to the shenanigans of ASURI, the former Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Chief Ikechukwu Ikoh and some sycophantic officials within the Ministry engendered.

“We have maintained since the beginning of this imbroglio that the recruitment process, that sidelined the Governing Board of NACETEM, was not only flawed, but completely illegal premised on the 2019 Conditions of Service,which was confirmed approved in error,and had since been disowned by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.

The Governing Board, several times,.also attempted to warn the the immediate past Honourable Minister of State,Chief Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh, against meddling in a lawful process, that had especially become subjudiced, as it was already a matter of litigation at a Federal High court, and still pending.

“To insinuate that the Board has been sponsoring the Non-academic Staff Union (NASU) to picket the office is very ridiculous. If this is the case, then the Board must also be responsible for the running battles the erstwhile Minister had in some other sister Agencies where appointment of their DGs was equally questionable. It also stands logic on its head that a body external to the Agency is the one giving account of goings-on in NACETEM. ASURI National is really stretching its luck. The same Professor Theophilus Ndubuaku had led a solidarity protest for the ‘appointed’ DG sometimes in May 2023 in Abuja with no member of staff of NACETEM in attendance.

“The Board ignored the macabre dance of shame as people have the right to associate and protest any issue, right or wrong. To ignore their latest act will make unsuspecting public to assume ASURI is fighting a just cause. It needs to be put on record that we have upheld the rule of law and all known extant rules to ensure that peace reigns in NACETEM. This is the reason we have consistently maintained that the process should be probed.This was always the basis of our petitions and letters,open or administrative, to Mr President and other high officials.

“To be accused of ‘misuse of power’ by ASURI over the “appointment” of a DG/CEO we were not part of the process that threw him up,is laughable. How do you identify with someone whose “appointment” sidelined the Governing Board? Again, we want to reiterate that we never interviewed Dr Olusola Odusanya and he is not known to us,beyond his submission of an application.Indeed,ten others also applied. Due process requires that the Selection Committee of the Governing Board should conduct interview and send its recommendations to the Ministry, but this was not the case because of the vested interest of Chief Ikechukwu Ikoh and ASURI in who becomes the DG of NACETEM.

“In the twilight of the last administration, efforts were also made to dissolve the Board,so as to perpetuate Dr Olusola Odusanya in office.The moves failed abysmally. This latest outcry is another handiwork of hatchet men of the former Minister. We will not bow to cheap blackmail.

“For the ASURI top man to turn himself into the mouthpiece of the erstwhile HMOS, and his officials at the FMSTI, including their “appointed“ DG/CEO, by stating that an approval was sought, and gotten from the erstwhile Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, to sideline a duly constituted and sitting Governing Board, merely to put in place their preferred candidate can only be laughable.

“To this end, we want to unequivocally state that: The appointment of Dr Olusola Odusanya as NACETEM’s new helmsman is illegal; The Governing Board only wants a process that is not flawed and does not violate the rule of law; The Governing Board will never condescend to the level of sponsoring any Union to destabilise an organisation it supritends upon; and ASURI National is only doing a paid job to favour a man whose process that trumped him up is not legitimate.

“In view of the above, the call of ASURI for the Governing Board dissolution is frivolous and begs the issue at hand, which is promoting illegality in the name of appointment of DG for NACETEM. We insist the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, should direct that the whole process be investigated and proper thing should be asked to be done in the best interest of the Agency, and the advancement of Democracy and the rule of law/cum sanctity of the courts.”