Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, has inaugurated a presidential joint board and audit panel, to probe the alleged mismanagement of N3.4 billion by Adebayo Somefun, suspended managing director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).
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Ngige, who was represented at the inauguration of the panel headed by Ibrahim Khaleel, president of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), and William Alo, chairman of the audit committee of the NSITF board, and permanent secretary of the ministry, stated that the agency was established to address the socio-economic needs of workers, by providing compensation to insured employees who suffer from occupational diseases, injuries or disability from accident or death in the course of employment.
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The minister insisted that the issues emanating from the NSITF contravenes due laws and regulations.
“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,” he said.
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“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.
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“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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“This becomes even more worrisome when preliminary investigations yield alarming results.”
Khaleel, who heads the eight-member committee, which has three weeks to submit its report, said they will discharge their duty justly and with the fear of God.
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