A coalition of Civil Society groups made up of 36 members across the county working on public trust, transparency, and accountability have reacted to the ongoing developments in the National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).
NSITF is a government agency dedicated to the welfare of employees across the country.
In a communique released after their meeting reviewing the developments in the agency, the coalition announced the launching of a campaign known as Public Eye on NSITF (PEN) to monitor the activities of the agency and ensure that their operations comply with due process and to ensure value for money for stakeholders.
Announcing the campaign, the Interim Coordinator, Rev. Oche Fije of the Centre for Public Trust, expressed displeasure about the chains of negative public perception generated around the activities of the NSIFT by mischief makers.
According to him, “NSITF continues to be in the news for many years for the wrong reasons. We now think that it is important to focus a campaign on the activities of the organization to enable the public to understand what the real issues are and to identify appropriate reform measures that can be implemented.”
On the rumours concerning the status of the NYSC certificate of Managing Director/CE Dr Michael Akabogu, he said, the issue has been reported to the police and is already being investigated, but it was curiously discovered that the same police officer who wrote the letter circulating in the media purportedly inviting the Managing Director/CE is also believed to be the same person supposedly investigating a case of document forgery involving NSITF contractors.
The communique further stated that part of the reasons that inspired the establishment of the PEN campaign is the fact that some of the members stumbled into startling evidence of attempts by some companies suspected to conduits to divert monies meant for the organization under the pretext of offering services that add no value to the Fund.
The civil society groups confirmed that the identities of those behind the fraudulent cartel had been unmasked, and the details of the activities will soon be forwarded to anti-corruption agencies for appropriate action.
The group based on information gathered from the workforce and their preliminary investigations described Dr Akabogu as a due process agent who frowns against fraudulent sharp practices.
“He has equally served Nigeria meritoriously in various capacities working as Technical Adviser to the former Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO) Dr Abraham Nwankwo as well as several Ministers such as Chief Emeka Wogu, Alh. Tanimu Turaki (SAN), Senator Danlami Ikenya and H.E Senator Chris Ngige.”
The coalition called on the perpetrators of the propaganda and their sponsors to desist from using faceless non-governmental individuals masquerading as civil society groups to mislead the public while they pretentiously pursue a predetermined selfish agenda.
The group further sought the intervention of anti-corruption agencies like the ICPC, EFCC and Code of Conduct Bureau to thoroughly investigate the NSITF operational activities to ensure that those who perpetrate corruption are revealed and made to face the appropriate consequences for their action.
Oche assured the Nigerian public that the coalition would continue to beam their searchlight on the organization using the instrumentality of the freedom of information to ensure that malicious activities seeking to frustrate reform minded individuals are exposed.