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Another alleged N48bn fraud scandal NSITF



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While Nigerians are still grappling with the recent exposure of massive fraud in the Niger Delta Development Commission [NDDC], another agency of government, Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), is also enmeshed in an alleged N48bn fraud.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, made the allegations against the suspended management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) when he appeared at an investigative hearing at the House of Representative.

Ngige who alleged that the suspended management paid themselves N9.8 million each without the approval of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, claimed that the suspended management went on leave abroad in first class with their spouses.

The minister accused them of engaging the services of legal practitioners at the sum of N180million without the approval of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).

Nigige added that they spent N146million on vehicles, and on May 31, 2020, awarded 30 contracts worth N332billion, divided into smaller components of N49million.

The splitting, he explained, was to enable the transactions to fall within the threshold allowed by law for the management to award.

The minister added that the suspended NSITF management spent N570million on health insurance outside the National Health Insurance Scheme.

Ngige revealed that since 2012, the NSITF had not submitted records of its audited accounts to the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, in line with the extant laws.

He pointed out that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had since dragged the NSITF management to court on corruption charges.

Recall that the suspended Managing Director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Adebayo Somefun, had on Monday accused Ngige of hijacking the management of the agency.

Somefun said the allegations against the suspended management were strange.

The embattled managing director explained that the N3.4 billion the minister said was spent on “non-existent training” was the money spent on trainings between 2017 and 2019, adding that the trainings were duly approved and carried out.


Somefun, who was testifying before a House of Representatives ad hoc committee in Abuja, also said Ngige acted outside the public service rules and circulars from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) on how appointed chief executives should be sanctioned and Nigerian law of fair hearing.

He said Ngige suspended the management and set up a panel to probe the same allegations he made.

The suspended MD said the minister was being economical with the truth when he said the suspended management spent about N3.4 billion on non-existing trainings.

The embattled MD also claimed that while he was on his annual leave, the minister ordered the General Manager in charge of Finance to pay N81 million for a training that was allegedly not done.

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