Friday, 3 July 2020

NSITF Board,Minister Fights Over Dissolution Of Board



The management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has said President Muhammadu Buhari did not suspend its top officials.

It blamed Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige for the alleged suspension of the agency’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Mr. Adebayo Somefun, and many other top officials.

A statement on Thursday in Abuja by NSITF’s Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Charles Akpan, had announced the suspension of Somefun and his replacement by the General Manager, Health, Safety and Environment Department, Dr. Kelly Nwagha, in acting capacity.

The statement said the President also approved the suspension of the Executive Director, Finance and Investment, Mr. Jasper Ikedi Azuatalam; Executive Director, Operations, Mrs. Olukemi Nelson and Executive Director, Administration, Alhaji Tijani Darazo Sulaiman.

It said the Federal Government directed the suspended officers to face a Joint Board and Audit Investigative Panel set up to examine the financial and procurement breaches, as well as gross misconduct in the NSITF since 2016 to date.

But a counter-statement by the management said: “We wish to state that President Buhari has not suspended the management of NSITF and did not make such announcement. The person mentioned in the media report is not an aide of the President.

“For clarity, we need to mention that we received a letter from the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, stating that he was doing a procurement audit on NSITF and that management was suspended.

“We note that the minister’s action is against President Buhari’s directive through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) which stated clearly that no minister should suspend or sack any head of agency appointed by President Buhari.

“The memo stated that ministers should follow procedures by going through the governing board of the agency that will now make recommendations to the SGF to act, if there is need. We are sure that President Buhari will not be part of any illegality and lack of due process.”

The management expressed readiness to face any investigation by an appropriate agency “as there is nothing that the management will hide or is hiding”.

It added: “We have been in receipt of several letters by the minister and several petitions written against NSITF by …Senator Ngige and we will make all communications available to the public and relevant authorities.”



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