Mike Odeh James.
*Provost Transferred N54m from College Recurrent to Consultancy Account without Approval
*To beat TSA, Provost emptied College Account as staff Salary adjustment, recovered the cash as loans in 3 months.
*Provost increased own salary by N500,000 per month
- Staff Salaries & Allowances unpaid
- All Allegations are totally false, Rector
The provost of the Federal College of Education Technical, Potikum would be remembered by many lecturers and non academic staff as a provost who institutionalized favouritism, nepotism, self aggrandisement and other forms of corruption.
Investigate reports by Desert Herald showed that the relationship between the Dr.Muhammad Madu who is the Provost of the institution and the academic staff has never been cordial.
Infact, between March 2016 and March 2017, the Academic Staff Union of the College embarked on strike twice to protest the highhandedness of the Provost and his lukewarm character towards the unpaid allowances of the staff.
In March 2016, head of Colleagues of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU, FCOE Potiskum, Comrade Sa’ad Muntari gave a press conference accusing Dr.Madu of deliberately ignoring the plight of the staff of the Colleague and also intimidating them into submission anytime the issue of staff allowances was broached.
Comrade Sa’ad Muntari added
that the decision to go on strike was reached at the congress meeting over the
of lecturers on the non – payments of salaries and allowances .
Comrade Mutari further explained that the Provost of of the College Dr .Madu Mohammad has never cooperated with COEASU on the plights of thr academic staff for quite a long period
of time which led to the unanimous
resolved by lecturers to stop lectures and shut down
this College till further notice.
The text of Comrade Mutari was capture thus :
“ The National Officers at College of
Education, Kontagora gave us directives
to come and intimate our Provost which
we did. Since then; we came but the
Provost has not invited us to dialogue;
because we prefer dialogue . In our own
Union activities , we take strike action as
the last option ; we never consider it as a
better option . ”
Mutari also added : “ We always always prefer dialogue unfortunately the
Leadership of the Union was never invited by the Provost of the College ,deliberately I gave the Provost of the
College grace of two days probably he may invite me but unfortunately he did
not. There was pressures from my members , I went ahead to call for a congress meeting
today 16th March 2016. We discussed on
the directives given to us, deliberated
and finally and seek for the mandate of
the congress to close down the College ,
they took a popular unanimous decision
by giving me mandate to close down the
College which we did
gentlemen of the press. ”
Speaking on the basis of industrial
action, Mutari added : “ Yes, some of the
problems we discussed are classified into
four ; there is an allowance that is
referred to as ‘Excess Workload. ’ Since
this administration came on board , it has
never paid us, they deny us, they said it
will be suspended until when the
economy improves , for the last two years
they have never paid us a kobo . ”
The Comrade went on to explain the other unresolved issue is
the “ conference allowance” we have
agreed with the management for the last
ten years that they will settle the first
payment in September of every year .
“ The main issue that prompted this
strike action is the ‘ Peculiar Academic
Allowance ’ this PAA is part of the
allowances that differentiate between the
academic staff and the non- teaching
It became a problem, we have been
meeting; unfortunately the Provost has
not been listening , he just gave us
blanket judgment whether he will pay or
not, that there is no money, he always
gives us flimsy excuses , we realized , it is
not so , ”
Following the address of Comrade Said, various stakeholders prevailed and the strike was contained .
As expected a period of time was given to allow the Provost to implement all the agreements previously agreed on, however, the Provost declined and thus the stage was set for another strike in March 2017.
Various accounts by staff of the institution suggested that Dr Madu initially resorted to divide and rule tactics so as to break the ranks of the staff and when that wasn’t yield result, he embarked on outright intimidation of staff .
As the staff of the College resumed their hostility with the Provost, Comrade Sa’ad had this to say:
“The management finds it difficult to honour the demands of the Academic Staff of the College.
” Let me inform you that our Provost is using intimidation and even blackmail to silence every one. He succeeded in silencing the entire management team, however we resisted all forms of techniques employed by the provost. The Congress is witnessing the collapse of the college before our very eyes.
However, the man at the centre of the controversy, the Provost remained studiously silent, perhaps he was confident that he would have his ways .
Just as the staff of the College were complaining of being overworked and underpaid, allegation of underhand dealing by Dr.Madu Mohammed began to surface .
According to documents seen by DH correspondent at the Federal Ministry of Education, on assumption of office as the Provost of College of Education, Potiskum Madu unilaterally increased his salary by N500,000 monthly in in his first four years leading to the sum of N30 million accruing to his pocket.
Two female staff at the office of the Bursar confirmed to DH that between 2015 to 2019, the Provost netted over N30 million due to an addition of over half a million naira to his monthly take home pay.
As to whether, the increment was done with due process, one of the female staff had this to say.
“All I know is that, I have never seen such an increment since I was here”.
” I have been here for the past 13 years” , she added.
This unilateral increment caused a huge rancour among the staff that prompted quite a number of them to petition both the Governing council of the College and the Federal Ministry of Education Abuja.
Another serous allegation of fraud was that the Provost transfer of N53 million from the institution’s recurrent account domiciled with First Bank of Nigeria,account no 2003949890 to the business account of the school domiciled with Unity Bank with account no 0005726414 .
The transfer was made in September 2015 under the pretext that it was an account meant to pay salaries of staff of the College, nonetheless, multiple sources at the college also confirmed that the timing of the Transfer was done to beat the Presidential directives on Single Treasury Account .
This transfer was done without due process.
A medical doctor who resigned from the College of Education told DH correspondent that resignrd due to infractions he noticed as regards the National Health Insurance Scheme,NHIS.
I resigned due to the lack of cooperation by Dr Madu Mohammed’s lack of cooperation in order to help actualize the NHIS benefits
“For example, staff who registered with the College under the NHIS program is expected to have a benefit of 10% cost of drugs and treatments borne by the institution once the College clinic is your health provider
” However, the provost outrightly denied us this benefits and on further probing, I discovered that he was actually doing it to the benefit himself, so I resigned” , the medical practitioner added.
The same medical practitioner also hinted at the illegal deductions from the staff salary and instead of the deductions being remitted to the staff Retirement Salary Account, RSA, the deductions were forwarded to College’ consultancy account where the provost could easily access the funds.
He added ,
” to the our pension deductions was about 5 % then, the Provost unilaterally upped it to 7% without due consultation with the school management “.
Desert Herald investigation found out that in August 2015 when Federal Government directed all MDA’S under it purview to key in into Treasury single account, TSA, the Povost unilaterally decided to empty the College recurrent account by paying all college staffs 70% of their salary in the name of salary adjustment.
After successfuly emptying the recurrent account in the name of salary adjustment, Dr Madu changed the tag salary adjustment to loan scheme and retrieved all the cash disbursed to staff within three months
Similarly, rather than allow staff to enjoy allowances which were part of their entitlements, Staff alleged that the Provost would actually prefer to give out I owe you, IOU to staff and after retrieving the IOUs, they were repackaged as salary adjustments and increment.
Desert Herald after careful scrutiny of the speeches given by the Chairman of COEASU Potiskum prior to each strike embarked up on by the staff of the College, discovered that the issue of the Provost withholding allowances of staff , not granting them full entitlement and increment of salary was always at the forefront.
Each speech also contained how the staff of the College were overworked .
The same views were also held by over seven staff of the institution who spoke to DH correspondent .
According to a junior staff, Amina, ( Her surname concealed) ,
” the provost has in the past few years embarked on recruitment drive with due approval from the relevant board
.” the recruitment had also been part of the problems as the money to pay all the staff are not enough’.
As a result, the College finds it difficult to pay staff salary at once and this has been a source of concern and friction between the staff and the school management headed by the Provost .
Other alleged financial malpractices by the provost includes the missing 43 computers sets that were provided for by TETFUND intervention when it built a 43 staff complex for FCOE fully equipped with furnishings and 43 pieces of latest computer set.
The Provost singlehandedly converted the Stsff office complex to School of Education Complex despite the fact that the College has a modern school of education.
Noteworthy to is that the computers that accompanied the TETFUND intervention were missing or not found in the new complex .
When contacted, the Provost of the Institution denied the allegations against him saying the allegations are totally false and fictitious.
In a mail to Desert Herald, Dr.Mohammed said that the allegations against were investigated by the Governing council of the College of Education Potiskum and after due deliberation, the allegations were dismissed.