Following the huge fraud discovered in the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Nigeria’s Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, who inaugurated all new boards of parastatals under the Ministry of Labour in line with the Presidential directive, except that of NSITF, has revealed the reason behind his action which according to him, had the consent of the President.
According to Chris Ngige, an administrative enquiry has been set up by the ministry to investigate the mindless looting of the agency, and a new NSITF board will be inaugurated pending the outcome of the investigation.
The Minister inaugurated boards for the National Productivity Centre (NPC), National Directorate of Employment (NDE), and Michael Imoudu National institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), who he urged to be accountable in the discharge of their mandates to avoid a repeat of the rot in the NSITF.
LEADERSHIP Weekend reports that Ngige said;
“The operations of the various parastatals must strictly conform to financial regulations, especially Section 32 and the provisions of the Procurement Act. The audited accounts of the parastatals must always be prepared and submitted to the relevant authorities as and when due. The NSITF, for example, is reeling from massive looting with no audited account for five years.
A whooping sum of N5billion was unearthed by an audit panel of enquiry as having been taken out of the NSITF coffers with First Bank in a single day without vouchers. Worse still, the organisation maintained no cash book as required by financial regulations. This resulted in massive looting of funds by board members acting in concert with the management staff. When we say N5 billion was taken in one day, that’s not the only amount missing. Over N30billion cannot be accounted for and the members of the past board participated actively in the looting”.
It was gathered that the President Buhari had in October 2017, constituted the board of the NSITF with the former President of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Chief Frank Kokori, as the chairman.