July 15, 2020

Ngige bars NECA’s President from NSITF board meetings

NECA steps up efforts at tackling unemployment, skills mismatch

By Victor Young

Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has barred the Acting President of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA, Taiwo Adebiyi, from future board meetings of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, saying he has not been screened and cleared by appropriate security agencies.

In a letter to the Director-General of NECA, dated July 9, and sighted by Vanguard, the

minister equally annulled contributions made by NECA Acting President in past board meetings of NSITF, contending that he lacked the legitimacy to do so.

Vanguard gathered that the Minister had also communicated to the Board Chairman over the development.

The minister’s letter was entitled “Representation by the Current Acting President of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) on the Board of The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF)”.

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According to Ngige, by virtue of the NSITF Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, NECA is accorded two slots for institutional representation on the board of the NSITF.

He recalled that when the board was inaugurated in May 2019, NECA had two members: Olawale Timothy and Dr. Mohammed Yinusa (NECA then President), who is now late.

The minister stated that his attention was drawn to the breach of the law through the recent transcript and extant proceedings submitted to his office by the ministry’s representative on the board on the replacement of late President by Mr Taiwo Adeniyi who is now the Acting President of NECA.

He said: “In that regard, you will recall that membership on the board of NSITF has preconditions of security screening and documentation by the Department of State Services, DSS, and subsequent approval by Mr. President, which other members had undergone before the inauguration of the board on May 18, 2019.

“This exercise became imperative after the orgy of looting by some members of the last board in collusion with some top management officials of NSITF.

“So, even though you communicated to the ministry the demise of the former President, the issue of his replacement on the NSITF board has to follow due process.

“As the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, I did not convey a presidential approval for the replacement of late Dr. Mohammed Yinusa on the Board.

“I understand that the NECA Acting President has been attending NSITF Board meetings and even heading a Board Committee without the legitimacy of having been cleared by the DSS and approval of Mr President in order to become a legitimate NSITF board member.

“Therefore, he should, henceforth, desist from participating in NSITF Board meetings and other activities thereof, pending his clearance and documentation by DSS as well as his approval by Mr. President.

“This is the due process for membership into NSITF board.

“Please, note the above and bring the contents of the letter to the notice of your Acting President and your Secretariat, as his further participation in activities of the NSITF board will be viewed as a case of impersonation and treated with appropriate sanctions.”

Efforts to speak with NECA were unsuccessful, as the Director-General and acting President could not be reached on phone.