Employment Scandal Rocks FUTO As Workers Kick Over ‘Emergency’ Promotion Interview

Prof Francis Eze
  • Accuse VC of plotting to reward loyalists with promotion, three days to his exit
  • Allegation is false, says FUTO authorities

The Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) is once again enmeshed in a scandal. This time it is staff recruitment scandal made worse by profiteers and racketeers of the employment openings in FUTO, BIGPENNGR has learnt.

This is coming to the fore at a time a section of the University workforce is expressing concern and suspicion over what has been largely described as an emergency promotion interview scheduled by the University for Tuesday, the 15th of June, just three days to the exit of Prof. Francis Eze as Vice Chancellor.

What is also disturbing is the fact that affected workers of the University started receiving notifications via text messages for the promotion interview just through the weekend. Monday is public holiday as such they did not get as much as two-working days notice to the promotion interview.

Some of the workers who showed the text message received to our correspondent said before now, promotion interviews were conveyed through a letter from the Registrar addressed to the affected workers and most times, as much as two weeks notice is given to workers to prepare themselves for the interview.

A prototype of the text message read thus: “You are invited 2 d Promotion interview 4 staff moving from CONTISS(II)11,12 to 13, &13 to 14 holding on Tues -15|6|21 @ Hall of Excellence/Registrar Conference Room. Time – 10am/12am Please come along with 10 copies of ur CV & 5yr appraisal.”

The invitation was sent from a mobile phone number 07015468642.

The prevailing perception on campus is conveyed in the allegation that the ’emergency’ promotion interview is a crash programme designed by the outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Francis Eze to position and reward his loyalists with promotion three days to his exit as Vice-Chancellor.

The aggrieved workers listed about five names of some of the intended beneficiaries of the promotion interview which could not be verified as at news time and as such will not be listed yet. The list is stepped down for subsequent publication.

Similarly, at the centre of the FUTO employment scandal is the outgoing Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Francis Eze, being the head of the institution and believed to be superintending over the allegedly poorly regulated and barely standardized employment process in the institution.

Impeccable University sources maintain that due processes are being abused in the ongoing employment exercise is FUTO.

Another source in the campus who craved anonymity, who also hinted that he is aware of the happenings in the institution, having rendered some consultancy services for the institution in the past said: “It is required that before the University embarks on any round of employment or recruitment of staff, that the exercise must be published in at least three national newspapers. Presently, it is not known whether the ongoing recruitment exercise in FUTO was published in any national newspaper.

“In the course of these recent employments, most of those employed are not subjected to job interviews. There was a recent emergency job interview for most of the newly employed, but it was perfunctory, just to cover up the procedural flaws of the process.

“We know some of the recently employed workers, all they did was submit their credentials, if it goes through, they get a text message inviting them to come for documentation where they get their employment letter. With that they can start work and after months of working, they will now be invited for regularization interview.”

Other sources regretted that the usual orientation exercise for newly employed workers which used to be a major component of the recruitment process, was no longer in the picture, as most of the newly employed workers have commenced work.

Meanwhile there are insinuations that the rush employment is allegedly driven by desperate efforts to cover up gaps in the number of workers being paid salaries in FUTO, as may be flagged by the IPPIS platform.

All efforts to reach the Public Relation Officer of institution, Mrs Ochenna Nwelue, for comment on this report proved abortive but a top official of the University who did not want to be mentioned, as he was not authorized to speak for the University, confided in our correspondent that the claims were unfounded.

The official said, the outgoing Vice-Chancellor of FUTO, Prof Francis Eze is known to have posted many landmark achievements and it is hoped that his last strokes as Vice Chancellor, would not dim his sterling performance in office.