The Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI) has expressed delight as industrial harmony finally returns at the Project Development Institute (PRODA).
PRODA is a foremost research and development Institute in Enugu.
The National Executive Council (NEC) of SSAUTHRIAI, made the observation during a meeting hosted by her PRODA Branch Union, Enugu.
Led by its national President, Dr. Benjamin Akintola and the General Secretary, Dr. E.O. Popoola, the Union used the occasion to honour the PRODA Governing Board Chairman, Comrade Daniel Onjeh and the Acting Director General, Dr. Fabian Okonkwo for their untiring efforts in ensuring the return of peace in the Institute.
It would be recalled that the Institute was in the news for the wrong reasons a couple of months ago, following the suspension of Dr. Charles Agulana, the erstwhile DG/CEO over allegations bordering on contract splitting, disobedience to the Board, victimization of staff, among others.
But the leadership of SSAUTHRIAI stated that with the board chairman, Onjeh and the new management led by Dr. Okonkwo, PRODA was experiencing a new lease of life.
“PRODA is currently going through the kiln, but it will come out stronger and more beautiful,” the National President of SSAUTHRIAI said.
The event brought together all the Union leaders under the aegis of SSAUTHRIAI to chart a new course in the discharge of their duties.
The Union described the board chairman, Onjeh as a “dogged fighter”and an “accomplished Comrade” due to his records as a one time President of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and former President of West African Students Association (WASU).
“Sir, you are a man who has committed so much to Research and Development in PRODA. A man of character and integrity, who is committed to equity, justice, and growth”.
The Union expressed gratitude to Onjeh and his team for “the beautiful policies that have ushered us into a new era of peace and job satisfaction”.
The union further hailed the Acting Director General and Chief Executive of PRODA, Dr. Okonkwo, in recognition of his “untiring efforts in ensuring industrial harmony and of course his commitment in ending the perennial delays in conducting the promotion exercise in the Institute.”
One of the invited guests, who spoke in the event, Comrade Teddy Udeiya, the leader of the PRODA reformed Academic Staff Union of Research Institution (ASURI), described Dr. Fabian as a man of integrity and character.
The PRODA SSAUTHRIAI Branch Chairman, Gabriel Ohiemi also eulogized the Director, noting his gentle but giant steps taken in the right direction.
“Dr. Fabian has been keen in following the due process especially in matters relating to payments of contractors and award of contracts, it is no longer business as usual like before when contractors are paid with nothing to show at the end of the day.
“His procurement reforms within the few months of his administration are unprecedented. Taxpayers’ monies are no longer diverted into private accounts,” he stated.
The Union said there are great expectations from the Acting DG, noting that his antecedents especially in the area of training and retraining of staff when he was the Director of Electrical Power and Electronic Development Department (EPED) in PRODA, were well known.
“He was the best performing Director at the time, and we are confident that if he is allowed to continue, PRODA will be the research hub of Nigeria,” the Chairman added.
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