*Workers allege financial misappropriation, nepotism, others
*All allegations are baseless, false – Rector
Uneasy calm is building up at Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy, Enugu (FEDCODTTEN) established in 1955, following the alleged financial misappropriation, nepotism levelled against the Rector, Dr John Emaimo and some principal officers of the Institution.
To this end, some of the aggrieved workers have appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu through the Minister of Health to investigate the alleged fraudulent practices.
The angry staff also urged the President to as a matter of emergency appoint and inaugurate a Management Board for the College to stop further fraudulent implementations of Personnel Costs and Overhead Costs, Capital projects and save them from perpetual manipulations.
A staff of the Institution who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of being sacked, told Daily News Nigeria, that they want the Management to streamline the salary structure of all staff to reflect the salary structure of health workers both for academics and administrative staff since the college is a division under the Federal Ministry of Health.
“Staff complained that when the Polytechnics or Universities allowances on COMPCASS, CONUASS, CONTEDISS & CONTISS structures are being paid, they are told that they are not legally eligible because they belong to the Ministry of Health and not education.
“We, staff of Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy Enugu cry out for help and beg the Presidency, Minister of Health, National Assembly, especially the distinguished Senators and Hon.Members representing good people of Enugu State at the National Assembly, relevant agencies and organizations and other stakeholders to properly Investigate the Illegalities, financial Mismanagement, corruption, nepotism of the administration of the Rector (‘Prof.”John Emaimo) and Bursar (Mrs Egbeh Felicia) at the Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy, Enugu”, the staff added.
Parts of the allegations levelled against the Rector and some of his principal staff read:
“Improper Placement of Staff, Diversion of funds, Nepotism, fraudulent implementations of Personnel Costs and Overhead Costs and other frauds deepens from 2017 to date.
“You may recall as it’s on record that in November 2020, the Rector, Dr.John Emaimo, recruited some new academic staff (on CONUASS) and non-academic staff into different positions and departments/units of the college in preparation for the National Universities Commission’s (NUC) verification exercise for some degree programmes being introduced into the college that year.
“The placement of the staff to various ranks was characterized by nepotism and irregularities.The Rector, Dr.John Emaimo, jettisoned the NUC benchmark guidelines for the appointment and promotion of academic staff in Nigerian Universities, as well as the college’s guidelines for the appointment and promotion of staff (dated September 2020), and placed his candidates, especially ones from his state of origin to a rank higher than their counterparts (staff of the college) from other parts of the country with similar qualifications. As if that was not enough, he connived with the Bursar to place his “special” candidates on a salary grade higher than their counterparts in the same cadre.
“For instance, some candidates who hold PhD are placed as Assistant Lecturer (CONUASS2), some as Lecturer II (CONUASS3) and some as Lecturer I (CONUASS4), while some of his candidates with MSc.,and BSc.with MSc-in-view are placed as Lecturer II (CONUASS4) instead of Assistant Lecturer (CONUASS2) and graduate assistant respectively.
“Also, some of his candidates on CONUASS35 receive salaries of those on CONUASS45. The worst of it all is that a staff who is a bosom friend and former colleague of the Rector (a retiree) in the Nigerian Navy, who holds HND-equivalent in Dental Technology and MSc.in Education Foundation and Planning, was given the rank of a Chief Lecturer (equivalent to a university Professor) in the Department of Dental Technology and the position of Acting Dean of Faculty of Dental health, while there are staff in the same faculty with PhD.
“Non-payment of promotion arrears and regular and irregular allowances is becoming a norm in the college. Promotion exercises take place every year in the college, but the implementation takes up to 2 or 3 years.
“Contrary to the tenets of civil service rules, the rector stated clearly in the promotion letter that the promotion is without arrears of salaries. Regular allowances such as call duties and non-clinical allowances that amounted to over 300 million naira is budgeted for as personnel cost every year, but neither academic nor non-academic have received such allowances since the inception of his administration in 2017.
It was gathered that Dr Emaimo who budgeted over ₦2.9b in the 2022 appropriation amendments as approved and has proposed over ₦3b for the 2023 appropriation budget has over ₦240m captured in each budget year for *Regular and Non-Regular Allowances *for about 482I PPIS enrolled staff in the entire college.
This is outside the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) generated through the out-patient units of the dental clinic, staff clinic, therapy clinic and technology laboratory and the whooping school fee paid by over 1000 students every budget year and each student pays from the average of ₦90,000 to ₦140,000 per session depending on the programme.
Further checks revealed that the “Executive class” for Degree programmes affiliated with Federal University of Technology (FUTO), pays ₦170,000 and above and has enrolled students in 100 to 500 levels. In all these bogus budgets and IGR, 99% of staff have been sidelined from accessing earned entitlements/allowances since 2017 till date.
HOW BUILT UP ANGER BEGAN:
An uprising of aggrieved staff started when other sister tertiary health Institutions started getting paid off their backlogs of allowances in late October 2022, and panic was ensured in the College.
In a smart and usual cunning and deceptive style, the Rector called an emergency meeting of directors, and heads of departments respectively, to convince them that they shouldn’t expect payment of any backlog of allowances from 2017 to date because the college does not belong to any supervisory Ministry at the moment.That the college neither belongs to the federal ministries of health nor the federal ministry of education.
He claimed and insisted that the Management of the College goes through the back door to access whatever is accrued.
On noticing that the staff were gathering momentum on the misinformation emanating from such meetings quickly called an impromptu meeting of staff on Friday November 4 to douse the perceived uprising of aggrieved staff against general maladministration and misplaced priority of his management team.
According to a source who attended the meeting and pleaded anonymity, the Rector,after trying to manipulate the staff with his usual deceptive oratory powers and fetish display of charms, was disappointed as the staff poured out their disappointments in handling the staff welfare and entitlements.
“The staff presented paper evidence and documents to back up their claims.
Dr. Emaimo and Egbe Felicia, the Bursar of the College, received the greatest shock of their lives as the already wounded and starving staff told them their sins to their faces and completely disagreed with their usual tales,then the Rector, Dr.Emaimo and the Bursar, Egbe Felicia left the meeting disappointed and dissatisfied with the outcome.
“Out of desperation to stop the authorities from knowing the truth of the happenings in the college,the source alleged that Emaimo through the CSO released an internal memo on fake security alert on Saturday 5th November, 2022 on the college WhatsApp platform backdating the memoto Friday 4th November, 2022, to stop the aggrieved staff they couldn’t convince during the meeting,from alleged perceived Protests on Tuesday 8th November, 2022”, the source revealed.
Another staff member who also attended the meeting with the Rector who is not happy with the happenings, said that the uproar by the aggrieved staff of the Institution is genuine and long overdue.
The worker added that the Rector and Bursar in a very clearer terms were accused of corruption, impunity, diversion of disbursed staff allowances, government procured building materials, hospital equipment and frivolous financial dealings.
“You may recall that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the re-appointment of Dr.John Emaimo as Rector, of Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy,Enugu State for a second and final term of four(4)years with effect from 27th November, 2020.
“The approval was conveyed in a letter signed by the Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora on-behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, and was presented to him at the Minister of State’s Conference Room,Federal Secretariat Complex, Abuja, Wednesday, 28th October, 2020.
“If his administration is left unchecked in the remaining years of his second tenure to alleviate the suffering of starving staff in the college, the staff may have no choice but to move to the street in protest for what rightfully belongs to them”, the aggrieved staff said.
Curiously, many staff of the College are asking: “Why are we not enjoying the entitlements/benefits and allowances of staff working under the Federal Ministry of Health?that the Rector has tactically stopped since November, 2016?
If the answer to the above is because of the new Act establishing the College dated 5th December 2017, then why have the staff not paid the CONTISS/CONTEDISS allowances of Polytechnic or Universities as the case may be since 5th December 2017?
Some selected members of staff whom the Rector feel are strong enough to challenge his tactical denials are being paid all their allowances in secret in the form of royalty or in the form of paddy-paddy settlement as if it’s a family or personal business.
The majority of staff who do not have contacts with the power that be, have not been paid any form of entitlements or non-regular allowances since 2017 till the date of this publication.
It is very clear after a closer study of the Act of Parliament establishing the College, that despite the new Act of 2017, the Institution still operates as a division of the Federal Ministry of Health. The budget, supervision, approval of appointments and promotions still come through the Ministry of Health, the most recent evidence is the reappointment of the College Bursar, Mrs Egbe Felicia by the Minister of State for Health for a second term. It is clear evidence that the college is fully a division of the Ministry of Health and not a Polytechnic and as such deserve to enjoy all that are available for health workers and teachers or lecturers in Nigeria.
Pathetically, why are the staff denied and not being given the privileges enjoyed by health workers and lecturers as obtainable in other similar federal tertiary health Institutions in Nigeria under the Federal Ministry of Health?
To many, it is a clear and confirmed fraudulent scheme to perpetually steal the allowances of the unsuspecting staff as has been captured in the college budget since2017.
The most painful aspect of injustice and greed on the part of the Management is that they prepare the statistics of beneficiaries to include all staff when submitting to the Federal Ministry of Health for onward transmission to the National Income, Salaries and Wages Commission (NSIWC) but when approved and at the point of payment to respective staff, they tactically liaise with their stooges at Accountant General Office (IPPIS) to divert the money and pay selected staff of their choice, an insider alleged.
It was further alleged that the unlawful diversion of monies meant for all staff are fraudulently invested in private landed property in Enugu, and other parts of the country, coupled with flamboyant lifestyles being exhibited by the Rector, Bursar and their cronies both in and outside the College.
CALL FOR PROBE:
Therefore, the aggrieved workers call on National Assembly members, House of Reps/Senate Committees on Ethics, Budget/Personnel Overhead, Budget Office, Auditor General, Accountant General, Press, EFCC, ICPC, FMH, OHSF, FMF, NISWC and Nigeria taxpayers (citizens) to further investigate and make public how items on disbursed monies in Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy Enugu from 2017 to date of this publication appropriation amendments on Regular and Non Regular Allowances were spent by Dr Emaimo and his Management team.
“Dr. John Emaimo and Mrs.Felicia Egbe, Bursar and their foot-soldiers Mrs.Angela Chukwu, Principal Assistant Registrar and Shamsudeen Mohammed, Senior Data Processing Officer, should explain who is not and who is qualified to benefit from the budgeted and partly disbursed allowances both (Regular and Non Regular) as captured in the 2022 Appropriation Amendment, with Code 0521016001 page 1487)
“The total appropriation is to the tune of ₦2,930,653,047billion while allowances for staff with Code 210201,21020101&21020111 are to the tune of ₦90,662,572and₦8,515,152 respectively.
“Also when allowances of health workers on CONUASS 3 Superscript 5 and CONUASS 4 Superscript 5 are being paid, the management selects a few sets of staff and claim that there are no health workers. They tactically deny staff their legitimate entitlements and it must stop. Labourers deserve their wages!
“Budget, appointments, promotions and all other activities are supervised by the Directorate of hospital services in the Ministry of Health and it operates about six salary structures (CONMESS, CONHESS CONTISS, CONTEDISS, CONUAS, COMPASS) in a single college of less than 482 legal staff and claim that other structures don’t belong to ministry of health except CONHESS and CONMESS, because of their salary structures that he claimed management placed them on willingly and fraudulently for reasons known to them?
“All with-held Hazard, Earned Allowances, responsibility, teaching,Call Duty allowances, promotion arrears either on CONNESS, CONHESS or ÇONTISS/CONTEDISS Salary structures as the case may be owed to the staff since 2017 till date of this publication must be paid because they are captured and disbursed in the budget every year. These promotion arrears range from the span of 16 to 20 months before they were implemented each year since Dr.Emaimo became the Rector.
The worst scenario is that the implementation comes with ₦2000 to ₦3000 or promotion increment or outright deductions for 99% of workers while the families and cronies enjoy proper promotion placements and increments ranging from ₦30,000 to ₦50,000 through the back-door. What a verifiable injustice?
On the backlog of promotion arrears, a source asked why can’t the management conduct the promotion exercise early in the year to avoid the backlog of arrears if they are sincere to themselves and the staff”, the aggrieved workers alleged.
According to the workers, “The Management as a matter of urgency for the sake of accountability, transparency and effective and efficient service delivery, should remove the two compromised illegal IPPIS desk officers, Mr Shamsudeen Mohammed and Miss Ngwu Edith with immediate effect. Dr. Emaimo and Mrs. Egbere moved the other well-trained desk Officers and installed their partners in crime.
“The Rector should appoint qualified professional payroll Officers accountants, and internal auditors who are specialists in payroll, benefits and compensation administration. The so-called IPPIS administrators of payroll are an unqualified Data Processing Officer and an unconfirmed accounting officer, who, respectively, know nothing about payroll, benefits and compensation administration.
They further claimed, “In other establishments where the rules are maintained, IPPIS desk officers are drawn from Human Resources/Personnel,Accounts/Bursary, and Internal Audit and are trained and retrained for efficiency and effectiveness but practically, Dr Emaimo as a ‘cunning’ Chief Executive, retrieved all the passwords of all the trained staff drawn from the mentioned units trained by the previous Management at IPPIS Headquarters when he came onboard to a single Officer and later the bursar forced her own stooge on the staff.
The duo, the workers allegedly have no knowledge of payroll, benefits and compensation administration just continue to manipulate data to satisfy their personal interests, consequently creating so much mess in the payroll administration in the College.
PROPER PLACEMENT OF STAFF:
Some of the aggrieved staff insist on the need for proper placement of staff in the College for
“All staff who are erroneously or intentionally placed in the wrong ranks should be properly placed. A standard committee must be constituted.
A source alleged that the staff have had situations where many staff would apply for proper placement, some would be properly placed while some would be denied with funny and flimsy excuses that the Scheme of Service the college was using when they were employed was not the same with their mates who are properly placed without minding the seniority implications and the psychological trauma that could have on the staff in relation to productivity.
“In as much as the staff are in full support of the transition to University Status as being pursued by the Management, the Rector and his Management team should bear in mind that there is no vacuum in governance…While the College make preparations for transition, to University Status, the Management should remember to adhere to the extant laws/acts establishing the college until all the transition processes are completed.
According to the source, the staff vowed that no outstanding kobo will be left unpaid to allowed staff, even if the college is able to transit to university status because the federal government has in 2017 budgeted and disbursed these entitlements.
STAFF RECRUITMENT RACKETEERING:
Investigation also reveals that Dr John Emaimo, Rector of Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy Enugu, after denying the allegation of illegally sacking 18 workers to replace them with his family members and cronies, this time devised another deceptive method with the help of his foot-soldier, Mrs Angela Chukwu, Principal Assistant Registrar, of “swapdeal” where recruitment was conducted secretly and appointment letters issued to the highest bidders. Aside from his family and cronies swapped with friends from other establishments, the other newly recruited staff in November 2020 are those of his agents Mr Francis Vitor Cajethan and Swk
Adewale Atere collected sums ranging from ₦1,000,000 to ₦2,000000 per appointment letter.
It was also learnt that these officers who are very close to the Rector live flamboyant lifestyles owing to the proceeds from the commissions earned from the job/appointment racketeering.
It has been confirmed that Dr. Emaimo has completed a state-of-the-art Hospital at Nike Enugu.
According to the insider, “the most painful aspect is that the cunning Rector diverted building materials meant to complete the ongoing construction work in the Rector’s quarter, classroom halls and the administrative blocks to complete the private hospital built for one of his wives.
It was also alleged that in an attempt to equip his private hospital, he quickly procured hospital equipment in the pretence of upgrading the college Staff clinic and the dental surgery clinic in the college, made an exaggerated and scandalous budget to include the equipping of his private hospital built through the college procured equipment at Nike Enugu.
“All the materials were tactically supplied and installed by the College contractors using dubious methods to shield the real deals”, the source alleged.
Ironically, one may wonder how all these alleged maltreatment and maladministration could survive in a federal government establishment without petition, formal complaints or strike action by the existing unions in the college.
“If there are no clear and verifiable answers to these questions, EFCC&ICPC and other anti-graft agencies should swift into action to help the helpless and starving staff of the college”, an aggrieved staff concluded.
REACTION OF RECTOR TO THE ALLEGATIONS:
Contacted, the embattled Rector, Dr Emaimo who spoke through the Public Relations Officer of the College, Philip Omololu, said, “We are aware of the allegations. Some have been summoned by the DSS to come with evidence and prove their allegations.”
Omololu who is also said to be a beneficiary of the alleged Rector’s ‘back-door’ recruitment exercise, told this reporter that the matter of corruption, nepotism and others are already before the Department of State Security (DSS) who are currently investigating it.
He insisted that all the allegations are baseless, false and not true.