Frank Ikpefan, Abuja
Suspended administration of the Nigeria Social Insurance coverage Belief Fund (NSITF) has stated all trainings, contracts and rehabilitation it carried out obtained the approvals of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and the Nationwide Meeting.
The organisation was responding to remark by Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige, that the suspended Managing Director/Chief Government Officer of NSITF, Adebayo Somefun and a few members of his government lavished N3.four billion on “non-existent workers coaching cut up into about 196 totally different consultancy contracts with the intention to evade the Ministerial Tenders Board and Federal Government Council (FEC) approvals.”
Ngige had cited monetary infraction and procurement breaches as a few of the the explanation why Mr. Somefun, three administrators and different officers of the company have been suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari final week Thursday.
However, in its response by an announcement on Sunday in Abuja, the suspended administration group maintained that trainings referred to by the minister have been budgeted for within the 2017, 2018 and 2019 appropriations for over 5,000 workers nationwide, and Procurement Planning Committee Conferences held for the procurement of products, works and companies to start the procurement actions.
Nonetheless, Ngige directed the administration group to tender their proof earlier than the Joint Board and Audit Investigative Panel set as much as look into the monetary and procurement breaches, in addition to gross misconduct within the NSITF for intervals of 2016 so far.
“Allow them to go and inform these ones to the panel. They need to go to the panel and present all these issues and if they’re appropriate the panel will exonerate them,” Ngige stated.
The assertion by the suspended NSITF administration stated: “There was no contract splitting as claimed by the Minister. The trainings referred to have been budgeted for within the 12 months 2017, 2018 and 2019 appropriations for over 5,000 workers nationwide, and Procurement Planning Committee Conferences have been held for the procurement of products, works and companies to start the procurement actions.
“All these particulars have been included within the funds for these years, taken for funds defence within the supervising ministry, formally endorsed by the minister himself, accepted and transmitted to the Nationwide Meeting for crucial approval throughout the funds defences for these years.
“One other allegation the minister leveled towards the suspended administration was that the challenge of building of 14 Zonal/Regional places of work in 14 states working into billions of naira was a coverage that was finished with out board or ministerial data to not speak of approval.
“We hereby search that due course of be adopted and the suspended workers must be allowed to return to their places of work to organize their defence to all allegations towards them.
“There are already stories that a few of the paperwork wanted to defend the allegations are being carted away from the workplace. Consequently, it might be appreciated if the minister would adjust to the SGF Round Ref No. SGF/OP/I.S.3/T/163 dated 19th Could, 2020.”
In the meantime, the Nigeria Employers Consultative Affiliation (NECA) has denied that the board of the NSITF wrote a petition towards the administration group to detailing monetary impropriety, which was offered to President Buhari.
READ ALSO: NSITF administration spent N3.4bn on ‘non-existent’ coaching —Ngige
NECA Director-Common, Timothy Olawale, in response to Nigige stated: “NECA is just not towards the minister as head of the supervising ministry taking no matter actions he deemed proper in his capability however takes exception to misrepresentation and deceptive data to the general public. It might be attention-grabbing in public curiosity to disclose the identities of the board members behind the stated petition.
“Some stakeholders could also be fooled by misinformation and misrepresentations, however NECA refuses to fall for illegality as we owe contributors to the Fund who’re employers of labour represented by us and the citizenry the responsibility of due diligence and forthrightness.”
Olawale is a member of the NSITF board representing NECA.