Staff of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, Lagos on Thursday held a mega rally in response to the appointment of Dr. Agnes Asagbra as the Acting Director-General of the Institute by its Board.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria who visited the institute reports that staff of the institute held the rally in jubilation over the removal of the former embattled acting Director-General, Prof. Chima Igwe.
NAN reports that workers of FIIRO had embarked on series of protests, calling for the removal of Igwe as the acting director-general of the institute.
The institute had been embroiled in a controversy over the PhD of Igwe, which he claimed he obtained from the Universite d’Abomey-Calavi, Benin Republic, without a certificate to show for it.
The appointee, Asagbra, holds a doctorate degree in Food and Industrial Microbiology from the University of Ibadan and was the Director of Production, Analytical and Laboratory Management in FIIRO before her appointment.
The acting director-general is to oversee the activities of FIIRO pending the appointment of a substantive director-general by the Federal Government.
Togunde Oyekola, the Chairman of the Senior Staff Association of University Research and All Allied Institutions, told NAN that the mega rally was organised to end the series of protests by the workers.
Oyekola said the removal of Igwe was a welcome development and a relief to the workers.
He said: “The ongoing rally is tagged ‘Mega Rally’ because we are using it to end all the rally and protests against the illegal stay of the former director-general.
“What happened in FIIRO affected the image of this reputable institute and we are happy that it has come to an end.
“We don’t want this to end here. We want the appropriate bodies to carry out more investigation on him.”
The chairman added that the union would work with the new acting director-general to redeem the image of the institute.
Oyekola, however, urged the new acting director-general to improve on the welfare of the workers, saying it would bring out the best in them.
He said: “Immediately the new acting director-general was appointed yesterday, we held a meeting with the workers to re-energise them on their duties and commitment to the institute.
“We hope the new director-general will learn from what happened and do the needful to encourage the workers.”