Workers of the Nigerian Institute of Mining and Geo-sciences (NIMG), Jos on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest against alleged mismanagement of the outfit by its Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Umar Bamalli.
The workers, who blocked all entrances into the institution, also called for the sack of their boss to “prevent further damage” to the institute.
Newsmen report that the workers chanted solidarity songs and held placards some of which read: “Bamalli must give way”, “NIMG is not a private property” and “NIMG has been turned to grazing site/wild life park”.
The protest was held under the auspices of Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Allied Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU).
Mr Ralph Ogunsonya, SSAUTHRIAI’s Chairman in the institute, who addressed newsmen, said that petitions written to anti-graft agencies over Bamalli’s “questionable financial transactions” had not attracted any response.
“We want Bamalli sacked and replaced with a competent administrator.
“After his sack, an audit team should be sent to the institute by the Federal Government to probe its finances from 20014 to date,” he said.
Ogunsonya alleged that Bamalli had enjoyed “an unusual accelerated promotion from Grade Level 13 to 17 within one year”.
“Within this period, some staff were demoted in the name of regularisation. This is questionable,” he said.
The union official urged government to revisit all wrongful placements of staff and address the stagnation suffered by many workers.
“Many people have been denied promotion. Others have sat promotion examinations but no promotion letter has been issued to anyone.
“We also have confirmation letters meant for workers, but management has refused to release such letters,” he said.
Ogunsonya alleged that the academic mandate of the institution had been truncated, regretting that the students had been thrown into confusion and were stranded.
Mr Steve Aluko, an official of Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), who joined the protest in solidarity with the workers, said that Bamalli’s actions were against President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts to diversify the economy.
“The mining sector offers a viable alternative to oil, but we cannot go far if research institutes like NIMG are not run well,” he said.
Contacted, Bamalli said that he was not bothered by the action and claims of the workers.
“It is government work; I have nothing to say. If you want information, go to the ministry and ask your questions there,” he told NAN on telephone.