Labour calls for inauguration of Kokori-led NSITF board
The Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) has called on the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige to urgently inaugurate the board of the NSITF, led by the former General Secretary of, Frank Kokori.
ASSBIFI made the call as the House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity to conduct an investigation into the non-inauguration of the NSITF Board.
The union, who has vowed to fight all illegalities going on in the fund has also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the illegal and secret recruitment of additional 350 senior managers by the minister.
National President of the ASSBIFI, Comrade Oyinkansola Olasanoye, who spoke with journalists on various illegalities presently going on in the absence of the board said its inauguration would enable the Fund to deliver on its mandate and work according to the rules and regulations.
Already, Comrade Olasanoye said the union has sent a letter to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha on the need to halt the 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 said the union was ready to work with relevant stakeholders and top government officials to continue to appeal to the Minister to inaugurate the board.
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 benefits 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 benefits 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 have 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.
While mandating its committee to investigate the non-inauguration of the board, the House said it has led to the 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’s 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 the former 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.