The management of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, OAUTH, Ile Ife, Osun State has fired at least 1500 workers who were recruited illegally in June 2022.
Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Muhammad Pate who gave the directive, also ordered an extensive probe into allegations of job racketeering by former acting Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof Afolabi Owojuyigbe.
Owojuyigbe is being investigated for allegedly offering employment to 1,973 staff, far above the number permitted. The health institution was issued a waiver of 450 vacancies by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation during the 2022 employment procedure.
Recall last year November 2023, an investigative panel set up by the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare indicted some OAUTH health workers, after uncovering reasons behind their inability to receive salaries.
Lead Investigator Dr. Aderemi Azeez, discovered during the investigations that found that the ex-CMD Owojuyigbe recruited hospital staff way above the officially stipulated number.
In a new turn of events, a circular signed by OAUTH’s Acting Director of Administration, Mr O.O. Omonije dated Wednesday, January 31 with the tile “Re: Implementation of the Year 2022 approved waiver,” stated that only legally employed staff will be considered duly employed after a rigorous test has been conducted.
According to the circular, this is to ensure strict compliance with the June 2022 waiver, which cited categories of staff required for recruitment.
The circular read in part:
“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.
Employment racketeering is gradually becoming an endemic in Nigeria. It is no longer a secret that less qualified applicants get employed due to some illegal scheming carried out within the system.
Unfortunately, reports have emerged in past years alleging that members of representatives who are given the task of probing job racketeering, turn around to extort money from agencies being probed.