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21.08.2004 General News

CSIR directs management boards to submit proposals on restructuring

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Kumasi, Aug 21, GNA - Professor Emmanuel Owusu-Bennoah, Director-General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has directed management boards of the various institutes under the council to submit proposals on how to restructure the various institutes to the CSIR by the end of this year.

He said the proposals when delivered, would be critically studied alongside recommendations from other quarters and thereafter used as a basis for reducing staff strengths of the institutes to 75 per cent and also as a tool for re-engineering the organisations. Professor Owusu-Bennoah gave the directive in Kumasi on Friday when he inaugurated the new management board of the Soil Research Institute (SRI) of the CSIR.

The 12-member board has Professor Oteng Yeboah a Deputy Director-General of the CSIR as its chairman and it is the eighth among the 13 research institutes under the CSIR to have its management board inaugurated.

Prof Owusu-Bennoah noted that, even though the institutes were research-oriented, the supporting staff seems to have virtually out-numbered the research scientists, thereby making efficiency a bit difficult.

He stressed, "The successful and efficient functioning of institutions depend on the calibre of personnel and their commitment to deliver the goods and not on the large number of people engaged for the endeavour".

The CSIR Director-General was of the strong conviction that if science and technology were to be effectively harnessed and applied by CSIR researchers to Ghanaian problems, "then there was the need for a shift from isolated, self-contained research to demand-driven research".

Prof Owusu-Bennoah said this implies that research institutes would therefore have to resort to trying out a number of institutional innovations and targeting outcomes and not just solutions.

He also entreated management boards and committees to devise strategies that would help commercialise research and development activities with the view to generating a minimum of 30 per cent of their budgets to supplement government funding.

Professor Yeboah gave the assurance that even though the management board would be firm and critical, such criticisms would always be objective and would not stir any conflicts between them and management. Nineteen workers who proceeded on retirement this year after 25 and 36 years of service to the SRI were later honoured with meritorious certificates. 21 Aug. 04