The brewing crisis between the Ministry of Labour and Employment and the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), took another dimension yesterday, as the NSITF board acknowledged receipt of a correspondence directing the suspension and investigation of some top management staff.
The Ministry last week noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the immediate, compulsory, and indefinite suspension of the Managing Director/Chief Executive of the NSITF, Mr. Adebayo Somefun, alongside three executive directors and eight management staff for alleged financial and procurement breeches in the last four years.
However, management of the NSITF and the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), had accused the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, of violating the disciplinary procedure approved by the President to stem the arbitrary removal of Chief Executive Officers of government agencies.
But in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday in Abuja, the Chairman, NSITF Management Board, Austin Enajemo-Isire, said the approval for removal of the affected officials followed due process.
According to him, the approval was conveyed by the Secretary of the Government of the Federation (SGF) to the Minister of Labour and Employment in a correspondence referenced SGF.47/S11/T./99 and dated 30 June 2020, and has been handed down to the board for full implementation.
He advised the affected officials to comply with the directives, stating that the board guided by the directive, would commence the processes therein to investigate the allegations levelled against them.