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NSITF Management Denies Being Sacked By PMB

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The management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has countered reports that it had been sacked and replaced by the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige.

Reacting to media reports of the purported sack, the NSITF Management led by its Managing Director and Chief Executive, Bayo Somefun, said the Minister lacked the powers to sack the leadership of any parastatal.

A statement issued by the management said emphatically that such order did not emanate from President Buhari.

According to the statement: “The Management of NSITF read the press release published by some media outfits that the President has suspended the management of NSITF and announced same.

“We wish to state that President Muhammadu Buhari has not suspended the management of NSITF and did not make such announcement. The person mentioned in the media report is not a staff of the President.

“For clarity, we need to mention that we received a letter from the Hon Minister of Labour and Employment Sen Chris Ngige stating that he is doing a procurement audit on NSITF and that Management is suspended.

“We note that the Minister’s action is against President Buhari’s directive through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation that stated clearly that no Minister should suspend or sack any head of agency appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The memo stated that Ministers should follow procedures by going through the governing board of the agency that will now make recommendations to the SGF to act if there is need. We are sure that President Buhari will not be part of any illegality and lack of due process.

“Meanwhile, the management of NSITF is open to any form of investigation by the appropriate agency as there is nothing that the management will hide or is hiding. We have been in receipt of several letters by the minister and several petitions written against NSITF by the Minister of Labour, Sen Chris Ngige and we will make all communications available to the public and relevant authorities.

“The Management of NSITF is still discharging its duty as appointed by Mr President.”

Source close to the organisation hinted that the Minister had been engaged in a cold war with NSITF hierarchy over some issues that the management felt did not follow due process.

The Minister was accused of grounding the activities of the NSITF since October last year because the management refused to dance to his tunes.

Some of these issues at stake include the Minister’s appointment of a Board Secretary who is not a lawyer, and against the NSITF ACT.

According to a source, the Minister “single handedly retrieved NSITF budget and used his hand to re write the budget and submit it himself.

“The procurement audit is currently on going, it started on the 29th to end on Friday, the 3rd of July. So why the suspension?”

 

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