ASURI, Coalition of CSOs Eulogise FIIRO DG For Providing Visionary Leadership

…. Pass vote of confidence on her, FMIST

By Amarachi Jim-Nwoko

The Academic Staff Union of Research Institution (ASURI) and the Civil Society Coalitions for Research Funding and Strategies for National Transformation, have extolled the visionary leadership of the Director General/Chief Executive Officer, of Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi, Lagos (FIIRO), Dr. Mrs. Jummai Tutuwa.

Addressing the media on Tuesday in Abuja during a World Press Conference, the Secretary General of ASURI, Prof. Theophilus Ndubuaku commended Dr. Mrs. Tutuwa for her bold step in repositioning and restoration of FIIRO’s position as a frontline research institute in Nigeria.

The Group also passed a vote of confidence on the DG for her untiring commitment on one hand and the Federal Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, for the political will by the then Minister Dr Ogbonnaya Onuh in 2022 in compliance with the stipulations of the Confitions of Service.

According to Ndubuaku, the appointment of Dr (Mrs) Tutuwa in 2022 was the medicine FIIRO required to bounce back to life after about three years of terrible leadership which almost grounded the Institute.

He said, “You will all recall that for over three years, FIIRO was embroiled in a crisis during which it experienced musical chairs at the apex of its Management. During that period, that premier agency was like a battlefield, and the situation persisted until the appointment of the present Director General/Chief Executive Officer, Dr. (Mrs.) Jummai Adamu Tutuwa, mid-2022,

In his words: ‘Within 19 months of being in the saddle as the Chief Executive of FIIRO, Dr. (Mrs.) Jummai A. Tutuwa has performed excellently, such that the local branch of ASURI has passed a vote of confidence in her leadership. To the leadership of ASURI, this is a vote of confidence in the Conditions of Service, which the union insists on in appointing Chief Executives. COS 2019 ensures that the round peg is put in the round hole, which suits the system. It is a vote of confidence in the Federal Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology and a call on the other Ministries to follow suit,” he said.
You will all agree that since then, the vibes emanating from FIIRO has been positive, posting results that make the stakeholders happy,” he said.

Prof. Ndubuaku explained further that, as part of its advocacy for the enthronement of sanity in the Research and Development Institutes (RDIs) sector, the leadership of ASURI initiated the process of assessing the Research Institutes and Agencies within its jurisdictional scope by sending delegates to monitor and observe developments. In line with this, he said a visitation committee to the Federal Institute of Industrial Research at Oshodi, Lagos, did an on-the-spot assessment of developments at the agency and interacted with the ASURI Branch EXCO and members at FIIRO.

The committee, led by the Chairman of the Nigerian Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) branch of ASURI, Comrade (Dr.) Sam Olufemi Amao included the Chairman of the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Badagry Branch, Comrade (Dr.) Abiola Aiyeola, the Secretary of the Technology Incubation Centre (TIC) Chapter of the National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI) Branch, Abeokuta, Comrade Abiodun Soyoye, all representing the National Executive Council (NEC) of the union, as well as delegates from ASURI Headquarters.

The Committee report states that upon assumption of office, the DG has undertaken diverse but positive initiatives ranging from her accomplishments to those currently in progress. She also fought doggedly and ensured that the Act establishing FIIRO was passed into law in less than a year of implementing its process from the National Assembly to the final ascent by Mr. President.

Also, Dr. Mrs. Tutuwa took a bold step in the repositioning and restoration of FIIRO’s position as a frontline research institute in Nigeria to the extent that FIIRO was awarded the first position at the Science, Technology, and Innovation Expo 2023.
He said, she repositioned and restored the FIIRO Website, which now meets international standards and aligns with the Federal Government’s guidelines for Government websites. She has ensured the optimization of project management at FIIRO.
Many of the dilapidated structures, which were in a shabby state and almost inhabitable, have been rehabilitated.

The Institute’s headquarters and stations nationwide are wearing new looks today
According to him, “Some of the projects which have been renovated are: The rehabilitation of the multi-purpose building to a state-of-the-art multi-purpose hall; and Renovation of FIIRO Canteen;
“Rehabilitation and equipping and furnishing of FIIRO Exhibition and Entrepreneurship Centre, Abuja and Establishment of ICT Resource Centre (LOT A1);
“Rehabilitation of research laboratories, workshops, and offices; upgrading of the institute’s electrical facility to enhance Research and Development; and acquisition and equipment of FIIRO’s Exhibition Centre in FIIRO Lagos office;

“Renovation of the old administrative building; rehabilitation of POD Engineering Building; construction and furnishing of Community Health Centre in Ibadan North Federal Constituency, Oyo State; and renovation of 3 NOS Pilot plants for completed laboratory projects.

“The exciting thing about the leadership of Dr. Mrs. Tutuwa is that her good works are felt at FIIRO offices across the country as evident in the construction of Skill Acquisition Centre at the Agbor office in Delta State, acquisition of a transformer and renovation of the building at South-West Zonal Office, Owode; completion and equipping of cassava processing plant in Nasarawa State; as well as the development of research laboratories/workshop in Langtang, among others.

“Her tenure has witnessed the payment of outstanding promotion arrears, which piled up from the 2018, 2019, and 2020 promotion years. All of these have been cleared under the watch of Dr. (Mrs.) Tutuwa, as promised during her maiden meeting with staff.

“Using her administrative acumen, she resolved all the controversies surrounding the 2021 promotion exercise, and its implementation was released by the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (FMSTI), as it was then called. In the same vein, the 2022 and 2023 promotion exercises were dusted while only the results of the 2023 exercise are being awaited, and we have no reason to doubt that it will be positive without issues.

“Under her watch, payment has been made to provide complete internet services at all FIIRO offices nationwide.
“Going by her background as a Research and Development-oriented person, massive funding of research projects has attracted the attention of the Chief Executive such that at FIIRO, it is a new lease of life for Research Fellows, adding that it promises to get better under her watch.

“ASURI, therefore, passes a vote of confidence in the capacity of the Director General/CEO of FIIRO, Dr. (Mrs.) Jummai A. Tutuwa, to continue her good works as many have described her appointment as God-sent because of how she has touched the lives of staff, management, and affairs of the institute,” Prof. Ndubuaku said.

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