FRESH facts have emerged revealing how N5 billion got missing in the vault of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF after N62.3 billion had earlier been discovered missing in the agency. The seized money. This revelation was made at the inauguration of boards and parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity in Abuja.
The Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, who disclosed this to Saturday Vanguard said the latest discovery was made by an audit panel constituted by the ministry to look into the affairs of the agency. Ngige said the failure to explain how the fund got missing in one day, suggested that the officials might claim that it was eaten by rats.
However, it was discovered that five top officials of the NSITF conspired and withdrew the huge sum from a first generation bank and converted it into Dollars after which it was shared. Ngige said the looting would not have been possible if the NSITF had maintained a cash book as stipulated by Financial Regulations. He said the absence of an accounting system in the NSITF paved the way for the plundering of the funds by persons, who were appointed by the government to oversee its affairs.
For that reason, Ngige, yesterday, declined to inaugurate the board of the NSITF along with those of National Directorate of Employment, National Productivity Centre and Michael Imoudu Institute for Labour Studies. However, the non-inauguration of the NSITF board infuriated the Chairman-designate, Chief Frank Kokori, who had reported Ngige to the House of Representatives and the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. Unknown to Kokori, who enjoys tacit support from National Employers Consultative Agency, NECA, the Nigeria Labour Congress and others, the Presidency was behind the probe.
The House committee in a letter dated March 1, 2018, ordered the NSITF through the minister, to furnish the lawmakers with records of all financial transactions from 2011 when the last board was inaugurated to date.