Allowance Payment Dispute: NMTC-Zuarungu’s management shows “evidence” of prompt payments

The college is situated in the Bolgatanga East District.

The management of the Nursing and Midwifery Training College (NMTC) at Zuarungu in the Upper East region has provided some memos and payment vouchers to support an earlier claim made by the school’s head that its tutors are paid allowances due them without delay.

Some of the college’s tutors had raised concerns when they placed telephone calls to Media Without Borders about two weeks ago that their marking and clinical supervision allowances were approved for payment only when the school’s principal, Michael Yidana Mantamia, was “happy”.

When this media outlet contacted the principal for his side of the story prior to publishing a story last month on those concerns, he said the institution had been paying allowances “early”.

“It is also not true that their allowances are paid only when I am happy. Do a proper comparison among the nursing and midwifery schools in the region and see who is actually paying its allowances early. We pay earlier than our peers,” he was quoted as saying in that report.

The college started in 2006 as a Health Assistant (clinical) Training School (HATS).

About a fortnight later, the school’s management invited the author of the earlier report and this current story to a meeting where some of the staff stated that the tutors’ allowances were paid in quick time.

“I can say that since I stepped in as clinical coordinator, my first activity was [monitoring students] on vacation practicals [sic]. The monies were paid to the tutors before we even started the journey. And the tutors are here; they can attest to that. I remember very well that when I started, people were saying, ‘Oh, you have started on a good note’. Then, I was laughing.

“If you check the memos very well, there are times that you go with a memo to [the] principal. The activity, let’s say, is two weeks, or even a month ahead. But because we work with [a] schedule, you have to prepare so that he gets time to also look at the document and approve. When he goes and looks at the document before you and he is satisfied, there are times he approves there that same day,” said the school’s clinical coordinator, Charles Adimi.

Continuing, he stated: “And as we speak, there is no practical exam fee, supervision fee that is outstanding. We have all collected our monies.”

The examinations officer, Felix Yiripuo, added his voice at the meeting, his statement not different from what the principal had said in the previous publication.  

“Let me say that as [an] exam officer [sic] who is in charge of raising the memo for marking, I must say that this is the era or regime where we have been getting marking allowance so early. Sometimes, we pick the allowances when results are not even ready,” he said.

The colleges is affiliated to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the University of Cape Coast (UCC).

While making reference to the memos and payment vouchers at the meeting, the head of finance, Dumba Seidu, remarked that allowance payments were not only “timely but also strictly in accordance with financial rules and regulations”.

‘Mode of Payment’ versus ‘Mood of Payment’

Recall that the aggrieved tutors, who complained to this media outfit while requesting anonymity for fear of potential punishments for talking to the press, indicated that the principal’s moods interfered with (or affected the speed at which) the time allowances were expected to be paid.

One of them was quoted in the April 30 publication as saying the principal “doesn’t pay these allowances when he is not happy”.

While the agitated tutors claim there is a ‘mood of payment’ that slows down the timing of allowances, the principal and the management say there exists only a ‘mode of payment’ that speeds up the timing of allowances.  

The school is a public health training institution.

When the author of this report again sought to know from the principal at the meeting if allowance payments were ever influenced by his moods as alleged by the staff, he rubbished the claim.  

“Respectfully, can you discern how somebody is not happy? I want to also ask you whether you asked them which day was he not happy and which allowance did he not pay?

“Which day was he happy and which allowance did he pay? Don’t you see it’s in the realm of absurdity to determine when somebody is happy in his office and signs a memo?” he reacted, adding that the previous claim that he was prompted that his staff’s April salaries had not been validated was false.

When the author asked him further if he could have approved the allowance payments even earlier than some of the days recorded in the payment process charts, he retorted by saying signing allowance memos was not the only duty he had got to discharge in his office as a principal.

Recall that the allowance dispute came up inside a previous story that was more about failure on the principal’s part to validate the April salaries of the school’s staff (including himself).

The school’s principal, Michael Yidana Mantamia.

Some of the school’s staff complained to Media Without Borders about the validation botch. When the author of this report contacted the principal for his comment before publication, he took responsibility for it and gave a reason.

“It’s true that we have internet problems. Unfortunately, the validation could not be done. I gathered them (the aggrieved staff) this morning and said I was sorry about what had happened. As I speak to you now, all efforts have been made for their April salaries to be paid at the end of May.

“If not because some people just want to give me a problem, why should they (the staff) be talking to a media house about this matter? I have explained to them that the internet is not working; I don’t have internet in my office. I take the blame and I apologise,” he said about two weeks ago.

A document provided by the school’s management to support an earlier statement the principal made that allowances were paid early.
Another document provided by the school’s management to support an earlier statement the principal made that allowances were paid early.

Dear readers, please, note that:

This publication is NOT a rejoinder. The principal of the college had responded to an allegation related to allowance payments when this media outlet ethically gave him an opportunity to respond to the allegation before the previous report was published about two weeks ago. The response the principal gave against the claim the staff made is found in the previous report.

This latest report, which also features the principal’s fresh response to the old claim the staff made that allowance payment was determined by the principal’s mood, was published because the school’s management later provided unsolicited memos and payment vouchers to support the principal’s earlier response that allowances were paid early.

Source: Edward Adeti/Media Without Borders/


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