Admin Director’s appointment sparks controversy in UCTH

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The appointment of the Director of Administration (DA) of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) has pitched the institution’s staff and stakeholders against the Federal Ministry of Health and the management of UCTH.

Recall that the Federal Ministry of Health had, in a letter reference SMH/530/T/1/71, dated July 19th 2019, titled ‘Re: Director of Administration, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital,’ addressed to the Chairman of Governing Council, and signed by the Permanent Secretary,
A. M. Abdullahi appointed Barr Eyoma Ededet Obong as Director of Administration.

This followed the Institution advertisement, in June 29th 2019, for the vacancy position of the DA following the anticipated retirement of the incumbent DA, Prof Archibong E. Archibong, on September 10, 2019.

However, aggrieved stakeholders have petitioned the Chairman of the Governing Board over the appointment saying the Health Ministry did not follow due process. 

According to them, six weeks which is always given for the advertisement to run had not elapsed when suddenly the Federal Ministry of Health appointed Barr Ededet Eyoma Obong against due process of screening, interview and appointment.


The Board member representing the Cross River State government and also the Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Health, Dr Joseph A. Bassey petitioned the Board Chairman over the appointment of the DA.

The petition dated August 1st 2019 titled Re: ‘Appointment of Director of Administration, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital’ regretted what he saw as flagrant abuse of due process by the Federal Ministry of Health.

The petition read in part: “I wish to formally protest, in the interest of the Government and people of Cross River State whom I represented in the UCTH Board, against the letter from the Federal Ministry of Health reference SMH 530/T/1/71 of 19th July 2019 on the above subject matter signed by the Permanent Secretary and addressed to you.

“Mr Chairman Sir, I see this letter as a gross violation and complete usurpation of the powers of the legally constituted board of the only federal health institution located in our dear state and a call to anarchy with attendant lack of trust on the management and governing board of this institution which I refuse to be part of nor allow myself to be used to perpetuate injustice and illegality that has the potentiality of snowballing into unimaginable consequences from staff of the institution and interested members of the general public due to abrupt termination of the ongoing due process put in place by the governing board.

“Mr Chairman Sir, the directives that the current DA vacates office immediately and the appointment of a new substantive DA by the federal ministry of health by fiat, without recourse to the institution Governing Board and the University Act/extant rules and circular
earlier quoted, is an aberration and a dangerous precedence in the history of the management of University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria.

“I wish to therefore call on this Board to toe the path of justice, fairness, equity, respect for due process and transparency in the process of appointment of a new DA that will take over from the
incumbent when he finally bows out in a few weeks from now and advise the federal ministry of health against this chosen path of disregard to laws and procedures, conflicting directives.”

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