Reps probe N2.3bn NSITF expenditure

• Back ongoing probe of alleged diversion of N62bn by past NSITF Chairman

The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity to investigate the activities of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) over unauthorised expenditure to the tune of N2.3 billion by the management of the Fund.

The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Francis Waive, who underscored the need to probe the activities of NSITF.

In his lead debate, Hon. Waive called for the intervention of the House on the media report alleging a fraud of N2.3 billion against NSITF management which was carried out without the authorisation of the Board or approval of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment as the transaction exceeded the spending threshold of the management.

According him: “The House also notes that the report indicated that the management allegedly awarded multi-million naira contracts for the construction of office complexes of the Fund in 12 States of the Federation, in addition to approving millions of naira as duty tour allowances for trips, in contravention of a recent directive from the Presidency banning such trips in order to reduce wastage.

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“The House further notes that at the end of August 2019, the sum of N2,294,161,925 had allegedly been spent on staff training which was mostly not approved by the Board or the Ministry of Labour and Employment, while many of the staff of the Fund claimed that they never attended any training, with a lot of infractions in the process

“The House is concerned about the claim by the management that it had spent billions of naira in settling outstanding debts to contractors but details of such debts were not provided for the Board or the Ministry, thereby raising suspicions about the genuineness of the claimed indebtedness and payments

“The House recalls that the Fund had been embroiled in similar scams in the past, including the alleged diversion of N62 billion by the immediate past Chairman of the Board, who is currently undergoing a trial.

“The House believes that there is an urgent need to investigate the allegations in order to reposition the Fund to deliver on its mandate and also help in stamping out corrupt practices in Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government.”

To this end, the House mandated its Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity to investigate the allegation and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

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