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NSITF: Ngige inaugurates audit, investigation panel to probe N3.4bn fraud

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has inaugurated a Presidential Joint Board and Audit Investigation Panel to probe the alleged N3.4 billion financial infractions leveled against suspended Managing Director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Adebayo Somefun and three other directors. Somefun, three directors and ten management staff were recently suspended by the minister over allegations of financial infraction and procurement breaches.

The committee chaired by Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Chairman of the Audit Committee of the NSITF board, has three weeks to submit its report. Ngige, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, William Alo, raised concerns that the preliminary investigations were already yielding alarming results.

He said: “The NSITF is a government – owned human centered entity which was established to address the socio- economic needs in the world of work by providing compensation to insured employees who suffer from occupational diseases, sustain injuries or disability from accident or even death during or in the course of employment. “In order to discharge this very noble mandate, the NSITF enabling Act provides that employers of labour should make financial contributions to the Fund of the NSITF. This includes employers in both the private and public sectors of the formal economy and the NSITF is the statutory custodian of these funds.

“It becomes very worrisome when there are issues surrounding and emanating from the management of these funds entrusted to NSITF especially when seemingly done in transgression of extant rules, regulations and laws guiding due processes for the management of funds and general conduct/ethics in the public service.

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