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Reps launch enquiries into non-inauguration of NSITF board


Members of the House of Representatives . PHOTO: TWITTER/HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Union seeks expansion of mandate  
The House of Representatives has mandated its committee on labour, employment and productivity to conduct an investigation into the non-inauguration of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) Board.

The House also expressed worries that the non-inauguration of the board has led to perpetration of employment racketeering by senior government officials as the management of the Fund is inundated by requests for employment of senior managers by the ministry of labour and employment high ranking officials.

The lawmakers also argued that the non-inauguration of the Board has thrown the Fund into a state of confusion, which is threatening the delivery of its mandate to its publics.

The Federal Government had in September 2017 (five months ago) named a retired General Secretary of NUPENG, Frank Kokori as the Chairman of the Board.

Statutorily, the NSITF board members are drawn from labour, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, who represents the ministry, the three Executive Directors of the Fund and the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Fund.

It is the responsibility of the Minister of Labour and Employment to inaugurate the board.

In the same vein, the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) has urged the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige to inaugurate the board of the NSITF without further delay.
The National President of the union, Oyinkansola Olasanoye, said the inauguration of the board would enable the Fund deliver on its mandate.

She expressed the readiness of the union to work with relevant stakeholders and high government official to continue appealing to the Minister to inaugurate the board.

She hinted that the union has already sent a letter to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha on the need to halt recruitment of additional 350 senior managers into the Fund by the Minister at a time the Fund is facing financial difficulty and in no urgent need for fresh staffers.

She also urged the Federal Government to expand the mandate of the Fund to include payment of compensation to unemployed persons.

Olasanoye said the implementation of the N5, 000 social benefit promised by the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) ought to have been implemented by the NSITF, which has the manpower and structures to implement such mandate.

She said: “We thought that the APC government would have allowed the NSITF to implement the N5, 000 social benefit to unemployed persons because the Fund already has the staffers that are trained in the implementation of social security in advanced countries that have been implementing it for decades. In addition to this, they also have the structure in all the 36 states of the federation. Again, the Federal Government would not had to spend money to recruit fresh staff to administer the benefit. The reason the programme has not achieved the desired result is that the most appropriate body was not allowed to implement it.”

She added that the unemployed persons are at the receiving end of the excruciating economic realities in Nigeria today even after the country is said to have exited recession.

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