RE: FMC Owerri One Year Without an Administrator
The Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, wishes to refer to the publication titled FMC OWERRI, ONE YEAR WITHOUT AN ADMINISTRATOR, published on the back page of a local tabloid in Owerri, National Newsbreak, May 30-31, 2016. In the publication, one self-opinionated, self righteous, and completely ignorant on the workings of Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Onwuasoanya FCC Jones, disseminated a catalogue of false information and innuendos to cast aspersions on the collective integrity of the interim Management Committee ofthe FMC Owerri.
Much as we would have loved to ignore this dangerously incoherent writer because of his past antecedents of meddling in the affairs of FMC, Owerri, silence cannot be golden in the face of this tyrannical write up. Arising from the fact that the administration we took over from is currently being investigated by the anti-graft agencies, the Economic’ and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and independent Corrupt Practices and other offences related Commission (ICPC), the IMC is constrained to give a limited response, to set the records straight.
Management’s position is as follows:
i. CRISIS AT FMC OWERRI
The crisis of FMC, Owerri predates the Interim Management Committee, which was inaugurated by the Honourable Minister of Health on 21st December, 2015, but officially resumed duty on 4th January, 2016. For avoidance of doubt, it was the crisis that led to the constitution of the Interim Management Committee. The Honourable Minister did not just wake up one morning to suspend the Management referred to by Jones, without apparent reasons? These are pertinent questions that Onwuasoanya FCC Jones needs to ask the apparent sponsor(s) of his publication and provide answers to the good people of !mo State and Nigerians, as there Is no smoke without fire.
ii. STAFF POSTINGS.
When the Interim Management Committee resumed duty officially, we met a workforce that was completely demoralized and in disarray. In dear violation of extant rules, majority of the support staff Administrators, Secretarial Cadre, Executive Cadre, Clerical Cadre, have been in the same Departments for upward of 10-12 years, some staff were just round pegs in square holes and are not in any position to contribute meaningfully to service delivery in the Centre. Yet they are drawing salaries at the end of each month.
For example, a sensitive area of the Centre, the Public Relations unit was being headed by a staff whose only qualification was a Degree in Theatre Arts and had no training whatsoever and experience in Journalism or Public Relations.
On observation of the flagrant abuse of Public Service Rules, and in the interest of Service and the FMC Owerri, the IMC met and took a decisiori to move staff round to enable them gain new experience and expertise from as many departments as possible, instead of working in only one department throughout their career in FMC, Owerri. A Clerical, Executive, Administrative or Secretarial cadre staff, who has the opportunity of working in Administration, Medicine, Surgery, Dentistry, or Accident and Emergency department, etc., will definitely be better equipped than his/her counterpart who works in only one department throughout· his/her career at FMC Owerri. The entire workforce was duly carried along before the postings were done. Consequent upon the IMC meeting and decision, a circular was duly issued to all members of staff to inform them about the deployment. Also, at the workers’ forum held on 2nd March, 2016, which was fully attended by all Cadres of staff, the issue Of staff movement was raised enthusiastically again by workers, who appealed to the IMC to carry out the exercise without further delay. It was after following due process and effective communication with all the stakeholders, that staff postings began mid-march, 2016 to date, Management has not received a single formal complaint about the postings.
iii. BOGUS ALLOWANCES, SUSPICIOUS HEADS
It is crystal dear that Onwuasoanya FCC Jones erred when he made the claim that “the arrow-heads of labour unrest, have been specially rewarded with special posting and payment of bogus allowance, and under very suspicious subheads”. Contrary to this malicious and libelous claim, the Interim Management Committee has actually stopped all allowances and daims that are not in conformity with financial regulations and extant rules.
iv. POWER SUPPLY
In year 2016, it is probably an ignoramus “columnist” who does not know that electricity generation and distribution, have become a national problem. It is not peculiar to FMC Owerri alone. The Manaqernent that we took over from was “finanCially disciplined”, and displayed such “unprecedented Transformation” as claimed by Jones, that It left a whooping =N=13, 166,691.37 (Thirteen Million, one Hundred and sixty thousand, six hundred and ninety-one Naira, thirty-seven kobo) debt for services rendered by Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (former PHCN). To date, the Interim Management Committee has paid the sum of N15 Million to EEDC. The payment is an average of N2 million per month consumption from January – May 2016, while the sum of N5 million is for servicing-of debt inherited from the “suspended Management”. We met a situation of “unprecedented Transformation” where the sum of N182.000.00 cash was being collected on a daily basis. to purchase diesel by a staff who had absolutely nothing to do with procurement. This unwholesome and dubious act was stopped by the IMC and we approached NNPC Mega Station with whom arrangement was worked out to be supplying AGO and PMS. Suffice to say that whenever, NNPC cannot meet our demand, we normally revert to registered contractors to supply us AGO or PMS, following due process.
Messr Ohiri is the only contractor engaged by the “suspended Medical Director” to be maintaining all the six (6 Nos) generators that are in FMC Owerri, despite the fact that they are different brands. This contractor is still working at FMC, Owerri. and being paid his entitlements after necessary verifications are done.
Since the inception of the IMC. Messrs Ohlri has been paid to date. the sum of N3.123,470.38 (Three million, one hundred and twenty-three thousand, four hundred and seventy Naira. thirty-eight kobo) arising from the fact that the generators we inherited have been over flogged with usage and old age, leading to the law of diminishing returns setting in. we have initiated with our parent Ministry the process of procuring 3Nos 60KVA and 1 No 500KVA generators. Also the inverter option in dedicated areas of the Centre is ~ing explored.
v. UNKEMPT ENVIRONMENT
Messrs. HACA was met on ground by the Interim Management Committee. While the company’s services have been retained due to his satisfactory performance, in response to increased pace of activities in the Hospital, the Interim Management Committee has engaged the services of Messrs. light Replica Limited, to complement the efforts of HACA who has been performing at optimal level
vi. ON CORRUPTION: IMPUNITY AND DISCIPLINE
We are satisfied that “guest Columnist” Onwuasoanya FCC Jones agreed that there were lots of corruption in the employment, development of staff by the suspended management. For a teaser, the anti-graft agencies ICPC and EFCC are already investigating the fraudulent recruitment exercise done in March 2013 and the purported staff training done with millions of Naira in 2010 & 2011, without corresponding documents to justify these claims. Some Doctors were employed verbally without any interview or due process, some of these people have been working for up to a year before the IMC came in and we have been saddled with the responsibility of redressing this problem. While the tMC is not opposed to any staff being sacked for gross misconduct, we have and will continue to insist that due process must be followed. The staff whose sack was reversed was sacked with all high handedness and impunity, without a single query in his file for the “offence” for which he was sacked.
vii. FMC STAFF RECEIVING DOUBLE SALARIES.
Since the resumption of the Interim Management Committee in Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, there has never been. and there is no staff receiving salaries from FMC. Owerri and Imo State Government. If any such fraudulent claims were made pre-IMC resumption, Onwuasoanya FCC Jones should ask the sponsors of his publication.
viii. INDIVISIBLE INTERIM MANAGEMENT TEAM
Contrary to the irresponsible insinuation by Jones. that there is internal wrangling among the Interim Management, we make bold to say that despite all concerted efforts made so far by the likes of Jones to divide the IMC along tribal lines, we have remained an indivisible unit. In line with extant rules, whenever any member of the IMC has reason to be away from work, proper hand over note is usually issued to the appropriate person to act for the substantive person.
ix. JUNK JOURNALISM
it is crystal clear that Onwuasoanya FCC Jones is seeking attention and relevance at all cost. He should realize that writing catalogue of mumbo-jumbo to malign people is not part ofthe core functions of the press as defined by Harold Laswell. It is not too late for him to move from his local tabloid, and go for internship in any of the well-established National dailies. to learn about, investigative journalism. objectivity, and the 5Ws and the H.
x. ON COURSE WITH OUR MANDATE
The Interim Management Committee of the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, is using this opportunity to re-assure the good people of Imo State and its environs. and the nation at large, that we remain irrevocably committed to our mandate In the onerous National assignment to serve our fatherland. No amount of threat, harassment, intimidation and distraction, will deter us from discliarging our duties and responsibilities to the best of our knowledge until the end of our assignmenl.
Professor Ndubuisi Eke
Medical Director (IMC)
Ayo Olagunju MNIM
Head of Administration (IMC)
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