Crisis looms at PRODA as firm DG, board, ministry clash

A Project Development Agency, PRODA, under the Ministry of Science and Technology is presently swallowed up in an internal crisis following ongoing attempts to sack the Director-General, Dr. Fabian Okonkwo.

DAILY POST reports that the agency’s DG was recently sacked following a recommendation by the investigative panel set up to look into the allegations by the board of the firm, then headed by its Chairman, Comrade Dan Onjeh.

The board had actually raised about 7 strong claims against the then DG, but forces in the ministry and other interested parties annoyed its effort to sanitize the firm.

A source in the company informed DAILY POST that, “regardless of the effort of the board to sanitize the firm, forces irritated the board to the point of asking the then board Chairman, Comrade Dan Onjeh to step down.”

It stated that in the wisdom of the investigative panel established to look into the seven-strong allegations leveled against the then DG by the board, he was sacked.

In the report of the investigative panel gotten by DAILY POST, all 7 accusations including those of violation of personnel promotion process, recruitment, agreements and others, were all supported by the panel.

The panel subsequently advised the sack of the then DG, with the presidency acting on the recommendation.

But a report available to DAILY POST states the new board of the agency presumably working with some forces had actually sacked the DG that took over in acting capacity from the then DG.

“After the DG was sacked, another board was established since the Ministry of Science and Technology stated the tenure of the board had expired. That’s not even the problem, the brand-new board was not comfy with the male acting as the DG. He was fired. There are forces interested in making sure that the individual in charge should permit them to run the method they want to run, specifically in relation to others and contracts.

“When the Acting DG was sacked, the most senior individual in the agency, Dr. Fabian Okonkwo stepped in as the new Acting DG. And since his introduction, he has actually known no peace as the brand-new board is now after him.

“They desire him to go back to the initial suggestions by the House of Reps committee which was in line with what the then DG and the ministry wanted. And since he wished to follow due process in his dealings with the board and award of contracts, they are now trying to find how to press him out of workplace,” the source informed DAILY POST.

Our reporter collected that on Tuesday, January 25, 2022, the board Chairman, Hon. Emma Eneukwu, was at the PRODA head office in Enugu to hand over a sack letter to the DG, who was said to be out of workplace. The letter, according to sources, was at the circumstances of the ministry working with the board to guarantee that the DG leaves office.

The source said, “Because the company’s DG is not dancing to the tune of the board, it’s now in alliance with the Ministry to remove Mr Fabian. Simply envision that the DG has actually constantly been far from the workplace due to the fact that of the numerous hazards by the board. I believe he is saying he can’t be taking orders from them since he is answerable to the presidency who appointed him.”

When DAILY POST contacted Eneukwu, he said the board was not interested in the task of the DG, and they were only carrying out the instruction of the ministry, declaring that the DG was running the agency down. He said, “Whether he is DG or not, it does not issue us. He is running the board down.

“We can be found in here and we saw him running the place down, grounding the place entirely. He has no interest in boosting the location. His interest is to make and offer the place cash from it and the board is not delighted about it. The board is not interested in any person being DG or not, our interest is to make certain the location prospers.

“Any DG that includes the interest of running the put, the board will not be happy with him. And the ministry understands the development and is throwing down the gauntlet. The board reports to the ministry, and it’s the ministry that manages these things that will take choices. And I believe they have actually taken the choice which is being implemented.

“The board does not implement, the board does not eliminate. The board just recommends on actions that need to be taken. The board is not thinking about the everyday adjudication of happenings.

“I do not know who Fabian is. I satisfied him for the very first time when they appointed me board chairman however he declined to enable the board to sit. There is a guideline that guides the board and the parastatal. Because we was available in, we have actually never sat. For 3 months now! Where does this take place? “When the board chairman was asked to highlight locations the DG was running the firm down, he said he was not in the position to react to that concern as he was working on the application of the instruction of the ministry. And when he was asked to disclose the position of the ministry he is implementing, he hung up.

When the DG, Dr Fabian was reached, he declined comments on the matter.

Attached to this report is the petition by the Dan Onjeh-led board, the observation of the panel, as well as its last report and recommendations causing the sack of the then DG.

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