President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the sacking of the top management staff of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), reconstituting the board.
This was disclosed in a statement signed spokesperson of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan.
The NSITF Managing Director and Chief Executive, Bayo Somefun, and the Executive Directors in charge of Finance, Jasper Azuatalam; Investment, Operations, and Administration, Tijani Sulaiman and Human Resources, Olukemi Nelson, were relieved of their positions with effect from July 1, 2020.
Also relieved of their appointments were the nine top Management Officers on suspension with the MD and EDs who had their appointments terminated compulsorily with some to be retired after demotion in ranks from their present Ranks as recommended by the Panel.
The reconstitution of the board followed the approval of the recommendations in the Report of the Presidential Joint Board and Audit Investigation Panel set up by the President in July 2020 to investigate the infractions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, and the Financial Regulations (FR) in the NSITF.
Consequently, Dr Michael Akabogu has been appointed as the new Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Agency.
Others appointed are Mrs Akinwale Caroline Temitope, Executive Director, Finance and Investment, Mrs. Alagoa Maurine, Executive Director, Administration and Mr Gana Modu, Executive Director, Operations.
Mrs Lauretta Adogu and Alhaji Najeem Yasin were appointed as nominal directors on the Board.
Adogu, the Director, Department of Occupational Safety and Health, is to represent the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment. She replaces Dr, Ifeoma Anyawutaku now a Permanent Secretary. Yasin, the Deputy President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) replaces late Khaleel Ibrahim who died sometime in October 2020 as the NLC representative.
The MD and the three Executive Directors are to refund the NSITF Treasury the total sum of N181, 056,000 being illegal overpayments in salaries, allowances such as overseas travels, leave allowances for self and spouses in overseas, house allowance, DSTV, and club registration, and extraneous allowances not approved by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC).
The other nine top Management staff whose appointments were terminated for various infractions and who have also benefitted from the excess remuneration are to refund such overpayments to the Panel.
These staff are Bashorun Olumide, the General Manager, Administration, AlhajiLawanTahir, the General Manager, Finance and Accounts, Chris Esedebe, General Manager, Claims and Compensation, Enyinanya Sike, Deputy General Manager, Finance, and Dorothy Tukura, Deputy General Manager, Training.
The others are Victoria Ayantuga, Assistant General Manager, Audit, Dotun Adegbite, Deputy General Manager, Investment, Arokoyo Olutoye, Deputy General Manager, Legal, and Abdul Rasheed Lawan, Deputy General Manager, Procurement.
The President equally directed a “total overhaul” of the Procurement Department of the NSITF with a new team of Procurement Officers be trained from the pool of existing staff and deployed to the Department while all the staff that has been serving therefrom 2017 – 2020 be removed and made to undergo disciplinary actions for offences ranging from the injection of extraneous companies and projects after advertisement and bidding has been concluded, contract splitting, initiation of procurement contract without budgetary allocation, conversion and switching of one fully bided project to another.
All officers indicted are to receive the appropriate official sanction by the Board.
The President also approved and directed that the Head of Service of the Federation terminate the appointment and dismiss the erstwhile Head of Procurement Department Abdulrasheed Lawal from the Public Service with effect from the date of suspension.
The President also approved that erring companies and persons who default/neglect/refuse to make refunds of illegal monies paid to them will be sent to Anti-Graft Agencies (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission – EFCC and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission – ICPC) by the Minister of Labour and Employment for further necessary action.
The Honourable Minister of the supervising Ministry via the Management Board to take all appropriate actions as the need arises to revitalise and reposition the Organisation to fulfil their mandates in accordance with the Enabling Act.
This will include restructuring and streamlining the activities of the Organisation to attain the overall goal envisaged in setting up the organisation.