By Dapo Falade
The last may not have been heard about the ongoing rumbles in the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) over the reported sack of its management, led by its Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr Adebayo Somefun.
A document at the disposal of PeesReporters revealed that the reported suspension was single-handedly done by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, in connivanve with the chairman of the NSITF Board of Director.
The minister had, last week, claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the indefinite suspension of the NSITF management.
He also said four directors of the agency, the Executive Director, Finance and Investment, Mr Jasper Ikedi Azusalam; Executive Director, Operations, Mrs Olukemi Nelson and Executive Director, Administration, Alhaji Tijani Darazo Sulaiman, were suspended on the order of the president.
However, the NSITF, led by Somefun, said Ngige lied in his aim and declared that its management remains functional and operational, saying it was untrue that it has been sacked.
The document further revealed that Ngige’s claimed stemmed out of an alleged desperation to bring the management to disrepute and thus conniving with the NSITF Board Chairman to deceive Mr President to approve the suspension.
“Or else, how do you explain how the chairman of the board of NSITF will single-handedly write a petition and blatantly lie to the president that it was a board decision?
“The Nigeria Employers Consultative Forum (NECA) and other board members have released a statement confirming that they had no information or prior notice of this purported board resolution approved by the minister.
“While we believe that all agencies of government must be accountable for whatever actions they take, it will be a shame if a minister of the Federal Government abuses the rule of law and due process all in pursuit of a personal vendetta.
“The minister single-handedly wrote the 2020 budget of the Fund, in connivance with the Board Chairman to insert the sum of 2billion naira as commissions to contributors whose contributions, being statutory, does not require any commission.
“The minister, on his own, inserted five SUVs in addition to the four Funds’ vehicles in the ministers custody. He also went ahead to appoint his stooge as the board secretary which is against the Act of the ECA as only the board itself can appoint a professional as the board secretary. He claimed it was the president who approved an act that is against the law,” the document revealed.
It was further alleged that the NSITF executive directors were suspended to pave way for the massive looting of the treasury of the Fund, knowing fully that those put in place in acting capacity would not have courage to challenge him (Ngige).
“His acting Executive Director Adminstration is his first betrothed wife who ran away to England soon after the bethrotal. He employed her into NSITF when she was far above the statutory age for the employment of persons into the public service.
“Soon after her employment, he regularly takes her on a jamboree to Geneva above other well qualified and knowledgeable officers. The so-called acting NSITF MD has a proposal for his dismissal for forgery on the minister’s desk since 2016 but no action taken for ethnic reasons,” it was further alleged.