Senate summons Ngige over lopsided appointments

THE Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives on Employment, Labour and Productivity, on Tuesday, summoned the Labour Minister, Senator Chris Ngige, over what was called lopsided appointments at the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

The joint committee, at a sitting on Tuesday accused the minister of alleged impunity and abuse of office, and asked the Ministry of Labour to cancel the employments done between July and September this year.

The committee also summoned the Chairman of the Federal Character Commission, Shettima Bukar-Abba and Managing Director of NSITF, Umar Munir Abubakar who are to appear alongside Ngige on Tuesday next week.

Chairman Senate Committee on Labour, Suleiman Nazif, who chaired the Joint Committee, said that employment undertaken by Ngige were skewed and allegedly violated the federal character principle.

The senator said: “Employment is of paramount importance and the committee would ensure that employment is done in a manner to reflect the principles of federal character.

“I think there’s something going on in NSITF that no one is willing to talk about. It is clear that the minister, Chris Ngige, is responsible for this irregularities, impunity and anomalies, resulting in gross abuse of his office, and we’ll take action on it.”

He also urged the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the development, adding that the committee intended to indict the ministry.

He also said that in the employment undertaken, Anambra had 44 slots out of the 131 available, while Katsina had one, Kwara  had none.