An investigative panel set up by the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare on Sunday revealed why some health workers at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Osun State, have been unpaid.
The investigative panel led by Dr. Aderemi Azeez found that the former Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Olumuyiwa Owojuyigbe, was involved in over-employment and job racketeering in the hospital without provision in the personnel budget.
The panel disclosed that Dr. Owojuyigbe employed over 1,973 staff in the hospital as against the 450 vacancies waiver granted in the 2022 employment by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
Some health workers had tackled the management of OAUTH for allegedly subjecting them to penury over 10 months of unpaid salaries.
They lamented that they resorted to begging to feed their families due to the hardship the non-payment of salaries has subjected them to.
The Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Muhammad Pate, on his verified X handle @muhammadpate on October 13, however, stated that an investigation had been completed on the matter.
“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,” he tweeted.
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 is attributed to the alleged job racketeering and over-employment saga under Dr 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 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.”
The report by the investigative panel further showed that the 450 workers waiver granted to OAUTH was for the recruitment of clinical staff, but only 55 clinical staff were employed, while others 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).