17 March 2018, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The United Labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC) has thrown its weight behind the decision of the Federal Government to probe the N62.3 billion mismanagement by the former management and board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).
General Secretary of the union, Comrade Didi Adodo, said in a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja that the development would go a long way to sanitise the industry and makes it fulfill the aims and objectives of its existence
He said, “Hearing the rot and the plundering that has taken place in that agency is enough for any right-thinking organisation and comrade to support a major probe that will not only unearth what has taken place but also to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“The Fund which was set up to bring succor to the working class has been looted over the years that it has not been able to fulfill the reason for its establishment. The current probe is, therefore, a welcome one and we hope that after the probe, NSITF, will be put in proper shape to deliver on its mandate.
“We call on government to do a detailed investigation on the NSITF and Trust Fund.These two bodies have workers’ funds,their life savings and in this era of the fight against corruption, there should be no sacred cow.”
The Federal Government had last month constituted an administrative panel of inquiry to investigate how N62.3 billion was mismanaged by the former Management and Board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, who inaugurated the panel announced a compulsory 30 days leave in the first instance for officers of the Fund to enable the panel to carry out its assignment without hindrance.
Those to proceed on compulsory leave are the General Manager, Legal, Adebayo A. Aderibigbe; Deputy General Manager, Finance, Henry Ekhasomi; General Manager, Social Security, Ishmael Agaka; Deputy General Manager, Internal Audit, Zwalda Ponkap; General Manager, Information, Catherine Ugbe and General Manager, Compensation, Dr. Kelly Nwagha.
The minister said the nine-member panel headed by the Director of Finance and Accounts of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ishaya A. Awotu, would look into the financial state of the NSITF with a view to purging it of all negative trails inflicted on it by the last board and management.
Ngige had noted that, “As you may be aware, the last Board and Administration of the NSITF left negative trails inimical to any advancement and progress for both the human and infrastructural components of the NSITF.
“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had discovered various acts of fraudulent diversions from the Federal Government and Private Sector Contributions amounting to N62.3 billion as at 2015, allegedly perpetrated by the past board and management staff of the NSITF.”
He said though the EFCC is already handling the criminal investigations leading to the prosecution of the former Managing Director, General Manager, Legal and the Deputy General Manager, Finance and Accounts, it was important to further unearth the administrative machinery that made the looting of such a colossal sum of public fund possible and forestall its reoccurrence.