OrderPaperToday– The House of Representatives has directed its committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity to investigate activities of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) in relation to an alleged fraudulent expenditure of ₦2.3 billion by its management.
This followed a motion moved by Mr. Francis Waive ( APC, Delta) on the “Need to Investigate the Activities of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF)”.
Moving the motion during plenary on Tuesday, Mr. Waive recalled a report published in the Vanguard Newspaper of November 24, alleging expenditure of ₦2.3 billion by the management of NSITF without the authorisation of its Board or approval of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
He also informed that the transaction exceeded the spending threshold of the management, according to the report.
The lawmaker said the report also indicated that the management allegedly awarded multi-million naira contracts for the construction of office complexes of the NSITF in 12 states.
Waive added that “this is 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.
“At the end of August 2019, the sum of ₦2,294,161,925 had allegedly been spent on staff trainings which were 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 lawmaker expressed concern over 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 to the board or the ministry.
He added that the claim raised suspicion about the genuineness of the claimed debts and payments.
The legislator recalled that the NSITF had been involved in similar scams in the past, including the alleged diversion of ₦62 billion by the immediate past chairman of the board who is currently undergoing trial.
Ruling on the matter, the House said it was necessary 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.
The lawmakers also directed the investigating committee to report back in four weeks for further legislative action.