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FG sets up committee to investigate NSITF crisis

The federal government says it has set up a committee to investigate a wide range of issues that have caused lingering crises within the Nigeria…

The federal government says it has set up a committee to investigate a wide range of issues that have caused lingering crises within the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and find a lasting solution to the issues.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, who disclosed this at the NSITF headquarters, in Abuja on Tuesday, confirmed that within the short period of time he had spent in office as minister, he had received a lot of petitions.

Lalong also said he never knew an agency like NSITF existed in the country, not until he was appointed a minister, adding that he had taken a look at all the petitions submitted to his office.

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 the Managing Director of the Fund, Mrs Maureen Allagoa.

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.

Speaking on the development, Lalong said he was aware of different issues that arose from the Fund, particularly the issue of how the MD paid herself, how she was queried by the ministry, and how she refunded the money.

“As a way forward, I quickly set up a committee and that committee I’m going to inaugurate tomorrow to handle all these, summarize them, and bring up to me,” the minister said.

He listed the complaints received to include unfair administrative practices and irregular promotion; lack of vacancies and the stagnation of staff; and court cases regarding the disengagement of some staff of the fund.

Speaking earlier, the managing director X-rayed the trajectory of the fund and enumerated its numerous achievements as well as challenges.

Allagoa stated, “Over the years and in the course of fulfilling our mandate since July 2011 when the ECA came into operation, the NSITF has been able to register over 145,000 employers and 7.4 million employees into the scheme. 

“The Fund has also paid claims and compensation to over 103,000 beneficiaries, including 111 persons who received artificial limbs (prosthetics), and 11 beneficiaries who were sent abroad for further medical treatment all at a total cost of over N6.6 billion.”

 

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