The FIIRO Management led by the alleged incompetent, A.E. Asagbra the Acting Director General of the embattled Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), has been gripped with fear over the non-relenting demands for the return of the twenty five million Naira (N25m) allegedly stolen from the Staff Cooperative Society and the FIIRO Muslim Community Cooperative Society.
The fear necessitated an emergency meeting summoned on Thursday 20, May 2021by the management at 3:00pm to appeal to the union to sheath their sword over their demands.
According to a source who pleaded anonymity, the union insisted that the management must meet all the demands stated in their letter to the management before they will give peace a chance.
The Insider said the union’s resolution are:
“1. Every demand stated in the letter to Management and Board must be met.
- N25 allegedly million stolen by Agents of FIIRO Management in Finance and Accounts Department of FIIRO must be returned by Management.
- Substantive DG must be appointed without further delay.
- Outstation officers who attend promotion interview from Zonal Offices from the six Geopolitical Zones must be paid their Duty Tour Allowance, DTA, Otherwise, Management must travel round to conduct the promotion interviews.”
It will be recalled that the Non Academic Staff Union of Educational & Associated Institutions, FIIRO Branch had in a letter dated 22nd April, 2021 addressed to the Ag. DG, FIIRO, titled “Our Grievance and Un-Resolved Issues,” demanded appointment of a substantive DG, which must be appointed following due process and transparency.
Signed by the branch secretary, Oyebanji Samuel, and the branch chairperson, F.F. Ogunleye, partly reads as follows:
- Appointment of Substantive DG/CEO: The institute cannot move forward in the right direction until we have a substantive DG/CEO which must be appointed following due process and transparency beginning from the process of shortlisting, to interview and recommendation of successful candidates to the Ministry who will then forward the Board’s recommendation to the Presidency for approval of one candidate to be appointed as the DG/CEO. Please note that anything short of transparent selection process may bring the institution back to dark period and some aggrieved people may want to fault the process and write petitions. We cannot afford to waste more time. The management and board should make the appointment of DG/CEO a priority now and divert all available resources at the institute now to ensure the selection is done in accordance with due process.
- Promotion Interview: The management should start putting in motion machinery to conduct hitch free 2021 Senior Staff promotion with input from all the Directors at the Institute and Heads of Departments and invitation of statutory stakeholders including FMST, Head of Service etc.
- Issue of 30%: There is a very strong rumor going around that contractors are paying 30 percent back to the Institute, as a union, we need confirmation about the rumor. We also want to know how the fund is expended especially relating to staff welfare which is almost zero as at today. Our other counterparts in other institutes, even institutes similar to FIIRO were given incentives end of every year, but nothing have been done to our member since2018.
- The agreement reached with our headquarter representative that is yet to be done are: Nonpayment of year 2019 and 2020 promotion arrears, Nonpayment of 8months salary for some staff, Nonpayment of burial rites for deceased staff and payment of repatriation allowance to retirees.
Others are Conversion/Upgrades of member out of three, you have attended to two members, it remaining Afolabi Owafunke Olabimpe, Omission of 2018 promotion arrears to our members and Unauthorized deduction of our members salaries refers tour letter dated 15th March, 2021.
According to the insider, who wants to remain anonymous, “FIIRO is now grossly unproductive. We are just living on the past glory. How long are we going to continue like this?”
The source stated; “When has the appointment of DG become the duty of the Governing Board? Must we play politics with everything because of vested interest? I have to state categorically that this mischievous act is to deceive the public into believing in the erroneous moves of the board and the conspiracy being carried out which is politically motivated.”
It is alleged that while all these are going on, the federal government appears to be indecisive over the development. However, a competent source at the supervising ministry, (FMST) says FIIRO issue and those of other agencies under FMST will soon be resolved.