Friday, 23 December 2022

Why Akabogu Should Honourably Resign As NSITF MD By Anayo Iwu


 

On 7 July 2018, a Nigerian online newspaper alleged that Kemi Adeosun, erstwhile Minister of Finance, illegally obtained the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) exemption certificate to get into public office. By September 14, 2018, Adeosun resigned as Minister of Finance due to the alleged NYSC Certificate forgery scandal. But on July 7, 2021, the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court cleared Adeosun of the charge stating as a British citizen, she had not been qualified to take part in the NYSC as at the time she graduated at the age of 22 and that when she returned to the country and became a Nigerian citizen at over 30 years she was no longer eligible for youth service. But she is an honourable woman and the damage had already been done to her reputation. 

A similar scenario is playing out in the Nigeria Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) with a different outcome. The National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) Discharge Certificate attached to the Curriculum Vitae of the Managing Director of NSITF, Dr. Michael Akabogu, was alleged to be forged. Since the news broke, the supervising Minister of NSITF, Dr. Chris Ngige, has not spoken about the scandal, neither has Dr. Akabogu who is at the centre of it scandal. What is happening here? Is it not the same government where Adeosun resigned? Are they trying to sweep the matter under the carpet? Is it not same forgery Mrs. Adeosun was accused of and made her to resign?  

The Nigeria Police Force has summoned Akabogu over the alleged forgery of the NYSC Discharge Certificate attached to his Curriculum Vitae. NYSC has also come out to confirm that it did not issue that NYSC Discharge Certificate with Number: A030544. Is the police trying something funny? Reports say Akabogu is Ngige protégé. In fact he made him MD though he was not right person with requisite financial and insurance knowledge for the job, his educational certificates notwithstanding. Ngige might not want his protégé sacked. But this is not a personal matter, it is a national matter. Akabogu was an aide to Ngige for over two decades since his days as governor of Anambra State and a senator in the eight senate. He was alleged to have been absorbed into NSITF on the instructions of the Minister and soon became the Managing Director following the removal of the previous management team. This is pure nepotism. Akabogu does not have the required skills set for the job, hence his impact has not been felt since he became the MD. 

Over the years, NSITF has made the news more for corruption and scandals rather than the primary reasons why it was set up: “to provide compensation to insured employees in case of work-related diseases, disability, injuries, or death.”  This role has never been performed to satisfaction. Is NSITF set up for wrong reasons by Federal Government? NSITF should be in the league of PENCOM that has over 14 trillion Naira pension fund. While accumulating funds is not the primary role of NSITF, you cannot pay compensation without accumulating funds. The excess funds not immediately needed can be invested in approved instruments to generate more funds for NSITF and realize its mandate. But it has not even fulfilled its primary role. Compensation are not being to affected employees of organisations as and when due. It’s time for the likes of Akabogu take a bow.

His management has toed the same line of previous managements. We have read stories of corruption and protest by workers against his management. It has been alleged in some other report that Akabogu is at loggerhead with Ngige for trying to breach civil service regulations and other matters. But others say the clash is about supremacy battle of personal interests. Whatever the case, Akabogu, like Adeosun, should step aside. I align with the civil rights group, Future is now (FIN). Akabogu should resign and go and clear his name first rather than proceed on two weeks leave. What the police is investigating is a “case of a criminal complaint” bothering on forgery of NYSC Discharge Certificate.


Anayo Iwu writes from Abuja



Share This

0 comments: