Following allegations of job racketeering and the directive of the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Muhammad Pate, the management of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), Ile Ife, has sacked over 1500 workers employed in June 2022.
It would be recalled that Ministry of Health and Social Welfare had in November 2023 indicted some officials of the teaching hospital including a former Acting Chief Medical Director, Prof Afolabi Owojuyigbe, of allegedly engaging in job racketeering.
The ministry said an investigative panel led by Aderemi Azeez found that Owojuyigbe carried out over-employment in the hospital, without provision in the personnel budget.
The panel disclosed that Owojuyigbe, a Consultant anaesthetist, employed over 1,973 staff as against the waiver of 450 vacancies granted to the hospital by the federal government in the 2022 employment process.
As a result of the development, many of the employed workers have not received their salaries since their employment.
Owojuyigbe and the hospital’s Director of Establishment, Mr Lekan Ganiyu, were subsequently suspended in July 2023.
Also, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare had in a statement posted on his X account alleged that many of the job seekers and their sponsors influence “peddlers and made illegal transactions to secure the illegal positions.”
He said OAUTH was given a waiver to recruit 450 health workers, but almost 2000 additional employment offers were granted above the number.
However, a circular titled, ‘Re: Implementation of the Year 2022 approved waiver,’ dated January 31, 2024, and signed by OAUTH’s Acting Director of Administration, Mr O.O. Omonije, said in order to comply with the June 2022 waiver, only the categories of staff cited in the June 2022 approved waiver from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation would be considered for rigorous suitability test for employment.
The circular, which was obtained by Newspeakonline on Wednesday, listed those that would be considered for rigorous suitability test for employment as follows:
Hospital ConsultantRegistrarMedical OfficerPharmacistNursing OfficerRadiographerMedical Laboratory ScientistPhysiotherapistDieticianDental TechnologistMedical Laboratory Technologist/TechnicianAssistant Technical Officer (Electrical and Biomedical)Health AttendantAdministrative OfficerAccountantHealth Records OfficerHealth Records Technologist/TechnicianAssistant Catering OfficerProgramme/System AnalystMotor Driver/MechanicAssistant Craftsman
According to the circular, OAUTH was mandated to clean up the nominal roll and determine the actual number of staff.
“You would recall that between 11th and 15th September, 2023 the Fact-Finding Panel from the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Abuja came to our Institution for official investigations on over-employment and job racketeering. During the course of their investigations, it was discovered that some people were recruited outside the waiver among several other irregularities.
“The panel also noted that this action was not legitimate and contrary to the Public Service Rules Section 100401 in the Civil Service of the Federation, therefore, the panel frowned at it and condemned the act in totality.
“In view of the above and in line with the recommendations from the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Abuja, the institution was mandated to clean up the nominal roll and determine the actual number of staff.
“Consequently, any person or group not cited on the above list are advised to cease from conducting or parading themselves as staff of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, lle-Ife henceforth,” Omonije said.
The circular was copied to the CMD, Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, all Heads of Departments, staff among others.