As staffs laments wrongful deductions and unending Financial Malfeasance
Calls for Gov Fintiri’s urgent Intervention
Adamawa German Medical Centre, otherwise known as German Hospital, Yola, is currently embroiled in gross financial malfeasance as some staff lament maltreatment of staff, particularly through illegal deductions of salaries and non-payment of new minimum wage without concrete reasons.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with DESERT HERALD, some staff of the medical facility who pleaded anonymity told our Correspondent how their salaries have been illegally deducted for almost a year without genuine reasons.
They claimed to have exhausted all legal means of seeking redress to no avail. “We have severally complained to our labour union and the state Labour Congress but all efforts proved abortive as both the unions tried their best to resolve the issue but because of the high brick walls encountered nothing significant came out of the strenuous efforts. The impasse has left us to languish under hardship while some individuals feed fat on our sweat.”
While narrating their ordeals, one of the worried staff who asked not to be mentioned stated that “we were employed in September 2013 by the government of Baba Mai Mangoro (Murtala Nyako) and since our employment, we were not paid until January 2014. When they started paying us salaries, we were paid along with arrears, the trend continued until they completed paying us the salary arrears.
“It was in March that we started getting our normal salaries but to our greatest surprise, we received one letter claiming to be from the Accountant General’s Office. The letter notified us that we were overpaid and that we should make some refunds, although there was no indication of the month we began getting overpayment nor the sum overpaid. When we enquired about this new twist, we were told that our problem was from the Accountant General’s office. We proceeded and beseeched the Accountant General’s office and were told that our problem was from our office so we were left confused.”
He noted that when they were paid their April salaries, the pay clerks withheld all their monies without giving them a dime. Subsequently, they continued deducting their salaries for about eight months as against the five months clearly stated in the letter from the Accountant General’s office.
He claimed that it only took the grace of God for them to stop deducting the salaries in almost a year.
After withholding their salaries or making deductions for almost a year, they started paying them twenty five thousand Naira as against the well structured salaries agreed by the Germans and the Adamawa state government.
He stated that what broke the Camel’s back was when the present administration of Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri commenced the payment of state government workers thirty thousand Naira minimum wage. When some got the payment, they did not get, so they went and reported to their labour Union. After the findings of the labour leaders, they told them that they are on special salary scale, i.e hundred percent Consolidated Health Care Salaries Structure (CONHESS) and as such they are not among the beneficiaries of the new minimum wage because their salaries is above the approved new wage.
Perplexed with this, he said they began striving to get their rights but the efforts were futile and that was why they decided to blow this whistle to Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri to come to their aid and constitute a high powered committee to investigate this matter to unravel those behind the salary scam.
Also speaking, another source claimed that “we were told that the people ‘chopping’ our monies are: Head of Service, some Officials in Accountant General’s Office and the management of the German Hospital.” Hence, he called on the EFCC or ICPC to come to their aid and investigate the matter.
Another source debunked the recent media claim by the State Head of Service, Dr. Edgar Amos, that the reason why the staff of the Adamawa German Medical Centre are not getting the new minimum wage is because they are on hundred percent CONHESS. He stated that there is nothing like special or hundred percent CONHESS in German Hospital as even Specialist Hospital staff whom they said are on seventy five percent of the CONHESS are earning more than them. Stating that this their so called special or whatever salaries structure, is only on paper not in reality.
Aside from that he said the letter written to them was re-variation not over payment and again none of them was given receipt for all the money deducted.
He wondered how the meaning of the word re-variation became an overpayment.
Thus, he appealed to Governor Fintiri to investigate this matter and bring the perpetrators of this scam to book.
Another source claimed that it was their former Accountant that planned with some staff of the Accountant General’s Office and their management to be deducting their salaries as there was no justification in the deductions of the salaries, since there were no receipts issued to that effect.
“If they claimed to have overpaid us which month did they overpay us, how much did they overpay us and where are the receipts for all our monies deducted?” he queried. Let them come out and explain to the world,” he charged.
Besides, he alleged that they know the people behind the devilish and barbaric act and promised to expose them when the need for investigation arises. He stated that they are people who are placed on good salaries but because of wickedness and greed, they connived and deprived them of their right. Hence, he called on Governor Fintiri, ICPC or EFCC to come to their aid and investigate the matter.
When contacted, the former Accountant retorted to our correspondent to contact the office of the Accountant General and the Ministry of health for more details.
While on her part, the Head of Administration of the German Hospital, Hajiya Fadimatu Yakubu, said she is not permitted to speak to the media and rather told our reporter to contact the SSG or Commissioner of Health on the issue.
However, a top management staff of the Hospital, who does not want his name in print, confirmed the news of the deductions to our correspondent but stated that they are not in charge of salary payments. While on other matters raised, he just told our reporter to contact the government.
Efforts made by our correspondent to get the reactions of the Accountant General, Head of Service, the Commissioner of Health and the SSG proved abortive as several visits by our reporter to their offices met a brick wall.
Our Reporter gathered that as of July 2020, some staff of the hospital who are on grade level four are earning less than thirty thousand naira as salaries.
The categories of other staff affected with the ill-fated deductions are: Cleaners, Securities, Nurses Assistance, Drivers and Gardeners.
Also unveiled was the revelation that since its establishment, the Hospital has been operating illegally as there is no law backing its establishment.
Findings by DESERT HERALD revealed that in 2014, a law was passed by the state House of Assembly but was not assented into law by any governor, thus, allowing the Hospital to be operating about a decade without law.
Speaking on the development, some stakeholders in the state described the act as grievous for the state government to be pumping tax payers money into an illegal agency since there is no law backing it.
They called on the present administration to hasten and prepare a law that will back the establishment of the medical outfit and send to the House of Assembly for passage into law or disband the edifice and hand it over to the Specialist Hospital where it is presently situated. They noted that currently, all what is expended on the Hospital is illegal since there is no law backing it. Therefore, Governor Fintiri should not hesitate to do the needful for the hospital to operate legally and optimally.
Despite their predicaments the concerned staff of the hospital are hopeful that Governor Fintiri because of the priority he gave to the health sector and health workers will intervene and come to their side.
DESERT HERALD reports that since working into office Governor Fintiri has indeed prioritised the health sector and has promised to revamp it with modern facilities. The Primary Health Care is also receiving a boast at the local governments and other local communities across the state.