…Says all corrupt elements ‘ll be fished out
…Inaugurates reconstituted board
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
THE Federal Government Tuesday said that the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, has passed through financial hemorrhage in the last few years.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige stated this in his speech at the inauguration of the reconstituted board of the NSITF at Old Banquet Hall, Abuja.
The Minister advised the new management to untie the Fund from the tethers of stagnation and lead a rewarding change.
According to him, “If there are some corrupt elements remaining in NSITF, I sound a warning, your days are over.”
He further said, “It is important for me to draw the attention of the new management to the financial hemorrhage the NSITF has passed through in the last few years and the imperative of a new direction as contained in the directive of the President.
“The NSITF must be revitalized and repositioned to fulfill its mandate in accordance with the establishing Act.
“Instructively therefore, the new management should not indulge in the sins of the past and must adhere to the statutory conditions of service and remunerations for board members approved by the Minister as enshrined in the NSITF Act.
“Besides, procurements must be done as contained in Procurement Act 2007 and Finance Act, Financial Regulations and the extant government circulars especially on threshold of procurement items.
“Let’s acknowledge at this juncture the ground zero level on which you are taking over today (Tuesday). In spite your performance will be measured every quarter and annually with the yearly reports and audited accounts to enable the ministry do her own report to the President.
“Our measure as supervising ministry is tied to your performance in terms of realization of your mandate and vision. I congratulate you all especially those who held the ship in the past. 11 months which was a trying period even as you recorded an increase of about N7 billion in your contributions when compared to same time last year. ”
Ngige told the new members of management that” on your shoulders lies the burden of untying this organization from the tethers of stagnation. We must live down the past and lead a rewarding change in the fortunes of the NSITF.
“The years of the locust is now over. You can’t afford to take us back to Egypt. The era of looting of N48 billion without a single voucher is gone for good.”
In his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dr. Yerima Tarfa said that the NSITF is the only federal government organization responsible for employees welfare in the event of accident.
Dr. Tarfa, who said that the Fund is backed by law, noted that it constitutes an important government investment in the wellbeing of workers.
He said that the selection of members of the board were painstakingly done, taking into account the pedigree and achievements of the members.
Those inaugurated were Dr. Michael Akabogu, Managing Director, Mrs Caroline Akinwale, Executive Director, Finance and Investment, Mrs. Maureen Allagoa, Executive Director, Administration and Gana Modu, Executive Director, Operations.
Chairman of the NSITF Board, Prince Austin Enajemo Isire witnessed the inauguration.
It will be recalled that on July 1, 2020,President Muhammadu Buhari approved the suspension of the former Managing Director, three Executive Directors and nine other senior management officers of the NSITF from office for alleged financial infractions.
Vanguard News Nigeria