The suspended Managing Director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Adebayo Somefun, has said the N3.4 billion alleged by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige to have been spent on “non existent training’ by his management was spent on approved trainings from 2017 to 2019.
Somefun also accused the minister of hijacking the management of the agency, saying allegations against the suspended management was strange to them.
The MD disclosed this yesterday before the House of Representatives adhoc committee investigating procedural breach of the presidential directives by both the ministers of labour and employment, and power, the alleged breach in procurement procedures and financial malpractices and malfeasance by those agencies.
He said the minister was being economical with the truth when he accused his management of spending N3.4 billion on a non-existing training.
He tendered documents before the committee, which he claimed were evidence of approvals for the trainings, beneficiaries, certificates awarded to them and payment made to them through the remita platform being operated by the fund.
He said the minister violated the public service rules and ignored circulars from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on how appointed chief executives should be disciplined.
According to him, the normal procedure would have been for the board to investigate any allegation against the management and forward their report to the permanent secretary, who will in turn forward same to the minister.
He said further that what the minister was expected to do was to forward the report to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who will set up an independent investigation before recommending a course of action to the President.
Somefun said the minister personally wrote letters to the Bureau of Public Procurement(BPP) and the office of the Auditor General to investigate the fund, but did not wait for the report from the two agencies before suspending them.
He alleged that while he was on his annual leave, the minister ordered the general manager, finance to pay the sum of N81 million for a training that was not done saying, “when I returned from leave, I queried the GM, finance and insisted that the training must be held. That is one of my sins that I was not forgiven”.