ABUJA – An independent panel has been inaugurated by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, to probe the allegation of financial misconducts levelled against the suspended management team of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).
This comes as the management team led by Adebayo Somefun insists that it received necessary approvals for its training programmes and the procurement of goods and services.
Speaking in Abuja, Somefun explained that he only went for the annual International Labour Conference (ILC) once since he was appointed and attended the International Social Security Association (ISSA) meeting once. He denied being involved in any frivolous spending.
He stated that the suspended management grew investment to about N9 billion within three years from the N600 million it met in May 2017.
He added that the investment now yields about two billion to the fund annually.
Inaugurating the panel headed by the chairman of NSITF board audit committee, Ibrahim Khaleel, Ngige highlighted the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the panel to include looking into all the infractions raised of the Procurement Act and Financial Regulations raised by the Accountant General of the Federation Periodic check report 2015 to 2019 and the administrative panel’s report.
Ngige also charged the panel to make appropriate recommendations on how to restructure the affected department and disciplinary actions for all found culpable after the investigation.
“I expect due diligence and thoroughness in the discharge of this national assignment which will hopefully purge the NSITF of negative connotations acquired since the past NSITF board and management once and for all and restore as well affirm the confidence of contributors to this very noble and humane Fund,” Ngige stated.
Members of the panel include the director, Occupational Safety and Health in the ministry, Dr Ifeoma Ayanwutaku; director, Human Resources at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Umma Dutse; Director, Organisation Design and Development, Office of the Head of Civil Service, Mr B. Omogo; Director, Monitoring Department, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Muhammed Katun.
Others are Director of Audit, Office of the Auditor General Office, Nicolas Mtemave; Director, Procurement, ministry of labour, Dr Onwusoro Maduka; Director, Human Resources, National Productivity Centre, Mrs E. Ogriki, who serves as the secretary of the panel.