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Ngige installs new NSITF team, cautions against flouting procurement processes

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Rejects NECA Board nominee

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige has cautioned the new management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust fund (NSITF) against flouting procurement processes. 

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He stated this yesterday in Abuja while inaugurating the new NSITF management led by Dr Michael Akabogu. 
    
The Minister urged the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) not to resist the removal of all procurement officers who have been in the department since 2017, saying, “those staffs are no good. They have to go. The President has approved they should go. Let me warn anyone who wants to perpetuate corrupt acts in the Fund to bury such ideas. We will not allow anyone to engage in any corruption.
    
“Besides, procurements must be done in line with the Procurement Act 2007 and Finance Act, Financial Regulation and the extant Government circulars especially on Threshold of Procurement items.”
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The Minister said the performance of the new team would be measured every quarter and yearly through the reports and audited accounts to enable the ministry to submit a report to the President, saying the measurement will be tied to the performance in terms of realization of the Fund’s mandate and vision. 
    
The Minister said the nomination from the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) must come from the same geopolitical zone of its late President, Muhammad Yinusa. He explained that the new President of NECA, Taiwo Adebiyi, comes from the same geo-political zone as the Director-General, Dr Timothy Olawale, who is from Ondo State, South-West geo-political zone. To the Minister, the presence of both the President and Director-General of NECA who are both from the same South-West geo-political zone on the NSITF Board is against the principles of federal character.
   
The Minister also hinted that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved that he sends the names of erring companies and persons who default, neglect or refuse to make refunds of illegal money paid to them will be sent to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission for prosecution.
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Ngige also claimed that he has gotten the approval of President Buhari to take all appropriate actions as the need arises to revitalise and reposition the Fund with the overall aim of fulfilling its mandates in accordance with the enabling Act, adding, “this will include restructuring and streamlining the activities of the Fund to attain the overall goal envisaged in setting up the organisation.

He announced the removal from office the immediate past Managing Director, Adebayo Somefun; Executive Director, Finance and Investment, Jasper Azuatalam; Executive Director, Administration, Tijani Sulaiman and Executive Director, Operations, Mrs Kemi Nelson alongside other nine staff members who have been on suspension since July 1, 2020. 

Subsequently, the President has approved the appointment of Dr Michael Akabogu as the new Managing Director; Mrs. Caroline Akinwale is Executive Director Finance and Investment; Mrs Maureen Allagoa is Executive Director Administration while Gana Modu has been appointed Executive Director, Operations.

Appointed into the Board are Mrs. Lauretta Adogu, Director, Department of Occupational Safety and Health, who represents the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and Najeem Yasin, a Deputy President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) represents the Congress. 

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