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FG probes N1.8bn contract awards in NSITF, reviews agreements with health workers

The federal government on Thursday inaugurated a special investigative committee to probe alleged irregularities in different contract awards to the tune of N1.8bn in the…

The federal government on Thursday inaugurated a special investigative committee to probe alleged irregularities in different contract awards to the tune of N1.8bn in the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, inaugurated the five-man committee tagged, “fact-finding” committee chaired by the Director, Finance and Account of the Ministry, Isaac Okehie.

Lalong, while reading out terms of reference to the committee, directed that their investigations must cover self-payment of gratuities to the managing director of the agency, Maureen Allagoa, while still in office; non-release of promotions as well as irregular employments.

Daily Trust had earlier exclusively reported how the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) invited some top officials of the NSITF for questioning over gratuity payment of N47m to Allagoa.

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In a letter dated 14th September 2023, with reference number ICPC/SSD/TB/197/2023 and directed to the Managing Director of the Fund, those invited included the Head of Administration Department, Head of Finance and Investment Department as well as Head of Audit and Inspectorate Department.

Inaugurating the committee, the minister urged members to resist any attempt to intimidate, harass or influence them while discharging their duty.

In his reaction, the chairman of the committee pledged that they would do their best to deliver on the assignment. 

Daily Trust reports that the committee has two weeks to submit its report.

In the same vein, Lalong said the ministry would begin a review of various agreements reached between the federal government and Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) in the past.

The minister stated this in his office when he received members of the Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Healthcare Professionals led by Olumide Akintayo. 

Speaking earlier, Akintayo said they visited the minister to solicit understanding and support towards actualising the implementation of several agreements reached between them and the federal government.

One of the major issues, he said, was salary adjustment for health workers under the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) which had not been implemented since it was approved.

 

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