A panel established by the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, has indicated a former Chief Medical Director, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital in Ile-Ife, Osun State, Dr. Olumuyiwa Owojuyigbe, over the non-payment of salaries to some health workers at the hospital.
Led by Dr. Aderemi Azeez, the investigative panel uncovered that the former Chief Medical Director, Dr. Olumuyiwa Owojuyigbe, engaged in over-employment and job racketeering within the hospital without the necessary provision in the personnel budget.
The panel’s findings indicated that Owojuyigbe hired over 1,973 staff in the hospital, surpassing the 450 vacancies approved in the 2022 employment waiver granted by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
Previously reported by The PUNCH, some health workers had criticized the management of OAUTH, expressing grievances over 10 months of unpaid salaries. They shared their plight of having to resort to begging to provide for their families due to the financial hardship caused by the salary arrears.
Addressing the issue, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Muhammad Pate, confirmed the completion of an investigation into the matter through his verified X handle @muhammadpate on October 13.
“We are addressing the OAUTH situation. The investigation has just been completed on this unfortunate situation. We understand the difficulties being faced by numerous innocent health workers and will do our best to resolve it equitably,” the minister wrote.
In a statement signed by the Director of Press at the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Patricia Deworitshe, the ministry said that it waded into the matter to set the record straight.
The statement titled, ‘OAUTH Ife and the unrest,’ noted that the unrest was attributed to the alleged job racketeering, and over-employment saga under Owojuyigbe, which the ministry termed “flagrant abuse of extant rules and regulations.”
The statement partly read, “The hospital conducted the exercise in two phases (230 and 220) after securing the approval of the Federal Character Commission not to advertise the posts.
“During the first phase, the hospital recruited 600 instead of 230, and a total of 1,823 staff members were recruited in the second phase instead of 220.
“At the end of the two phases, the hospital recruited 2,423 staff instead of 450. As such, 1,973 staff members were recruited in excess of the approved waiver.”
According to the investigative panel’s report, the approved waiver of 450 workers granted to OAUTH was intended for the recruitment of clinical staff. However, only 55 clinical staff members were hired, while the remaining individuals employed were non-clinical staff.
“The outcome of the recruitment exercise also revealed that OAUTH has a staff strength of 7,279 (out of which 3,034 were clinical staff and 4,245 were non-clinical staff, this translates to a non-clinical staff ratio of approximately 1:1 instead of the recommended 3:1, that is three clinical to one non-clinical).
“It further stated that many recruited staff were without requisite academic and professional certificates as well as evidence of National Youth Service Corps certificates.
“Currently, Dr Owojuyigbe, who was appointed in acting capacity in March 2023, has absconded from his duty post since July 2023, while his co-culprit, Mr Balogun Tajudeen, who was the acting Director, Administration, has been suspended for their involvement in the job racketeering saga,” it added