The joint action congress of the staff unions in the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), yesterday supported two-year tenure extension for the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Prof. Muhammad Sani Haruna, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
They said the extension will help to consolidate many ongoing inventions and interventions in different sectors in the country.
They described the decision as the “smartest move” by the President to stabilize researches and inventions by NASENI.
They said the few additional years would facilitate weapon production, development of first-ever aircraft in West Africa and enhance capacity for solar cell production.
But the unions pleaded with the government to release the funds approved for NASENI by the National Assembly.
They alleged that the agency has only been able to access 8% budgetary allocations.
They also urged the government to expedite action on the new wage structure for NASENI workers.
The unions announced their support for Buhari’s action at a briefing in Abuja after a congress.
The associations are the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), and Technical Staff Association of NASENI (TSAN).
The media session was addressed by TSAN President, Comrade (Dr.) Oluwaseyi Ogungbenro and NASU-NASENI Coordinator, Engr. Tijani Wakili.
Ogungbenro, who presented the position of the two associations, said: “The unions received with great delight, the decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria to extend by two years the tenure of our indefatigable, pragmatic, productive, industrious and dynamic Executive Vice Chairman, Prof M.S. Haruna (OFR).
“We wish to state unequivocally that the entire workforce in NASENI stands with NASENI management under the leadership of Prof. Haruna and accept the tenure extension of our dear Executive Vice Chairman, Prof M.S. Haruna, in good faith and with great joy and gladness.
“This move will in no doubt help to consolidate on various ongoing Federal Government interventions through NASENI in the various sectors of economy such as Agriculture, Power, Youth Empowerment, Aviation, Security and Transportation, to mention a few.
“NASENI under the watch of Prof M.S. Haruna (OFR) has demonstrated uncommon capacity in utilizing science and technology to turn around the fortunes of this nation through its various programs, interventions, research output, technology transfer, collaborations, reverse engineering and much more.
“The further years granted Prof. Haruna will help to ensure Nigeria is self-sufficient in food security, stand out in home grown technology in weapon production, develop first ever aircraft in West Africa, develop capacity for solar cell production, finish the production line for home grown transformer production and ensure agricultural and industrial tools manufacturing for food safety and industrial revolution, etc.
“All these and other ongoing programmes of the agency birthed by this great technocrat will definitely turn around the economy of this great country in the nearest months.”
He said the unions regarded the tenure extension as the “smartest move” for the sake of Nigerian economy.
He added: “It is therefore the smartest move by President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, to grant Prof. Haruna tenure extension to help the incoming government and Nigerian economy.
“The unions therefore profoundly thank Mr. President for the political will to reposition NASENI under the presidency and implement NASENI act as regards its funding.”
But the unions pleaded with the government to release the funds approved for NASENI by the National Assembly.”
He claimed that the agency has only been able to access 8% budgetary allocations.
He also called on all agencies responsible for ensuring new salary structure for NASENI to expedite action.
He said: “However, it may interest you to note that till now NASENI has only been able to access 8% of the funds approved by National Assembly and signed by the President.
“If NASENI has been able to do so much in one year with 8%, one can only imagine what NASENI will achieve if granted access to 100% of its approved funding.
“We therefore graciously and firmly appeal to relevant authorities: the Honorable Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Governors Forum and National Economic Council to ensure the release of the remaining funds without further delay because NASENI remains the economical and technological solution for myriad of problems confronting this great nation.
“The advanced nations of the world are where they are today in their military might and competitive economy mainly because of the robust spending on science and technology. This we cannot shy away from if we must surmount our problems and grow our economy.
“We also wish to use this medium to call on all responsible for ensuring new salary structure for NASENI to expedite action to further motivate NASENI workforce who now works round the clock to reposition the agency.
“Working under Prof. M.S. Haruna has made the staffers of the agency work 25 hours a day so as to ensure the country is technologically turned around to meeting its various challenges and solve its economic problems.
“There is no better motivation to workers than effective and adequate wages.”
They thanked the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbanjo, Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), the National Assembly, the Chief of Staff to the President, the Minister of Finance and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation for their efforts in ensuring NASENI is rightly funded.