NASENI: Leadership Controversy over CEO’s tenure renewal

The delay in approval of a second and final term of five years for Prof Haruna, the outgoing CEO has caused unease tension at the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure [NASENI] an agency of the Ministry of Science and Technology, 

Move to renew the appointment of Haruna began on January 25, when he wrote a letter to the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, asking for his appointment to be renewed for another five year term.

‘’Your Excellency is respectfully requested to consider and recommend renewal of my appointment for the second and final term of a five [5] year tenure as the Executive Vice Chairman/CE of National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure [NASENI]’’, Haruna said in the letter.

The minister also in memo dated January 26 to President Muhammadu Buhari recommended renewal of Haruna’s appointment saying, “During his first tenure in office, he has repositioned the Agency in such a way that it has assumed an important position in our efforts to deepen the depth of science and technology as an important tool for national rebirth.

“His first tenure in office as Executive Vice Chairman will lapse on April 2, 2018. Accordingly, I implore Mr President to consider and approve his re-appointment for a second tenure in office as the Executive Vice Chairman of the NASENI’’, Dr Onu said in his letter to President Buhari.

But following the expiration of his tenure on April 2, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Education and Association Institution [NASU] NASENI branch, wrote a letter to the minister on April 9 requesting the minister to appoint an acting Chief Executive for the agency.

In the letter jointly signed by NASU chairman, Peter Edibo and the secretary, Ngbe Peter, the union members said leaving the agency without an acting head pending the time Haruna’s appointment would be renewed is a violation of the Public Service Rule of Nigeria. They said Professor Christian Okechukwu Nwajagu is the most senior director at the agency and he should therefore be made the acting EVC.

Apparently acting on the NASU letter, the minister directed the Permanent Secretary, Dr Amina Shamaki to direct the ministry’s HR department to start the process of appointing an acting head for NASENI. Because of this, the Director of Administration and Human Resources at NASENI, Mr A.K Hassan sent out an internal memo on 11th April, informing the top management staff of the agency that Prof Haruna’s tenure as Chief Executive has expired.

But this did not go down well with Haruna, who quickly wrote a counter memo and told directors he was still in charge of the agency.

There is however speculation that the Presidency has renewed Haruna’s appointment but yet to announce the decision.

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