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NSITF crises snowballs as Minister removes NECA’s rep from board

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Dr. Chris Ngige

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, 2020 and sighted by Vanguard, the Ministry equally annulled contributions made by the NECA Acting President in the past board meetings of NSITF contending that he lacked the legitimacy to do so.

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

The Minister’s letter sighted by Vanguard, was titled, “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, the NECA is accorded two slots for institutional representation in the board of the NSITF, recalling that when the board was inaugurated in May 2019, NECA had two members; namely-Olawale Timothy and Dr Mohammed I. Yinusa (then President of NECA) who is now late.

The Minister stated that his attention was drawn to the breach of the law through 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 became 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 Security (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 the Late Dr. Mohammed I. Yinusa on the Board and 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 the 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,” Ngige stated.

Efforts to speak with NECA were unsuccessful as the both numbers of the Director General and acting president could not be reached at the time of this report.

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