—Former MD, 3 others to refund N181m
–Directs HoSF to dismiss former Head of procurement
—Approves implementation of Probe Report
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, ABUJA
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Dr Michael Akabogu as the new Managing Director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF.
The appointment of Dr. Akabogu followed the approval by the President for the reconstitution of the NSITF Management Board as well as the recommendations in the Report of the Presidential Joint Board and Audit Investigation Panel set up in July 2020 to investigate the infractions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, and the Financial Regulations (FR) in the NSITF.
A statement issued by the Deputy Director/Head, Press and Public Relations of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan, stated that the President also approved and directed that the Head of Service of the Federation terminate the appointment and dismiss the erstwhile Head of Procurement Department Engr. Abdulrasheed Lawal from the Public Service with effect from the date of suspension.
According to the statement, the former Managing Director of the Fund Mr. Bayo Somefun and three other former Executive Directors with NSITF are to refund to the treasury of the Fund a total of N181, 056 million being alleged illegal over payments in salaries and allowances.
The allowances were for overseas travels, leave allowances for self and spouses in overseas, house allowance, DSTV and club registration and extraneous allowances not approved by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC).
Appointed alongside the MD are Mrs. Caroline Akinwale, Executive Director Finance and Investment, Mrs. Maureen Allagoa, Executive Director Administration and Mr. Modu Gana, Executive Director Operations
The statement was titled, “Reconstitution of the Board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF”
It read, “President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reconstitution of the NSITF Management Board. This followed the approval of the recommendations in the Report of the Presidential Joint Board and Audit Investigation Panel set up by the President in July 2020 to investigate the infractions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, and the Financial Regulations (FR) in the NSITF.
“These financial infractions and other serious prima facial established malfeasance had resulted in the President approving the setting up of the Panel and the subsequent suspension from Office of the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive, and the three (3) Executive Directors respectively of Finance and Investment, Operations, and Administration and Human Resources.
“Nine (9) other top Management Officers in the General Manager Cadre were also suspended with the MD and the three (3) Executive Directors on the recommendations of the Honourable Minister of Labour & Employment.
” In approving the implementation of the recommendations in the Panel’s report, the President specifically approved:
” The removal from Office of the MD/CE and the three (3) Executive Directors and their immediate replacement from the pool of General Managers of the NSITF and if necessary sourcing of capable hands from the sister like corporate organizations to uplift performance in the NSITF.
“Messrs. Bayo Some fun, Jasper Azuatalam, Tijani Sulaiman and Mrs Olukemi Nelson were therefore relieved of their appointments with effect from 1st July 2020.
“Also relieved of their appointments were the nine (9) top Management Officers on suspension with the MD and EDs who had their appointments terminated compulsorily with some to be retired after demotion in ranks from their present Ranks as recommended by the Panel.
“The MD and the three (3) Executive Directors are to refund the NSITF Treasury the total sum of One Hundred and Eighty-One Million, Fifty-Six Thousand Naira (N181, 056,000) being illegal overpayments in salaries, allowances such as overseas travels, leave allowances for self and spouses in overseas, house allowance, DSTV and club registration and extraneous allowances not approved by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC).
“Other nine (9) top Management staff whose appointments were terminated for various infractions and who have also benefitted from the excess remuneration are to refund such overpayments to the Panel.
“These staffs are: i) Bashorun Olumide, General Manager, Administration, ii) Alhaji Lawan Tahir, General Manager, Finance and Accounts, iii) Chris Esedebe, General Manager, Claims and Compensation, iv) Enyinanya Sike, Deputy General Manager, Finance, v) Dorothay Tukura, Deputy General Manager, Training, vi) Victoria Ayantuga, Assistant General Manager, Audit, vii) Dotun Adegbite, Deputy General Manager, Investment, viii) Arokoyo Olutoye, Deputy General Manager, Legal, ix) Abdul Rasheed Lawan, Deputy General Manager, Procurement.
“The “total overhaul” of the Procurement Department of the NSITF with a new team of Procurement Officers be trained from the pool of existing Staff and deployed to the Department while all the staff that has been serving therefrom 2017 – 2020 be removed and made to undergo disciplinary actions for offences ranging from the injection of extraneous companies and projects after advertisement and bidding has been concluded, contract splitting, initiation of procurement contract without budgetary allocation, conversion and switching off one fully bided project to another. All Officers indicted are to receive the appropriate official sanction by the Board.
“The President also approved and directed that the Head of Service of the Federation terminate the appointment and dismiss the erstwhile Head of Procurement Department Engr. Abdulrasheed Lawal from the Public Service with effect from the date of suspension.
“In furtherance of the implementation of the Panel’s report, Mr President has also approved the following structural and staff changes in the Board and Management:
“Managing Director/Chief Executive
Dr. AKABOGU, Michael C., Ph.D., Financial Mathematics; M.Sc. Finance; MBA Finance and Global Management; former Vice President, Bank of America (BoA); presently, General Manager (Risk Management Department of the NSITF).
“Executive Director Finance and Investment, Mrs. AKINWALE, Caroline Temitope, FCA, ACA Fellow Chartered Institute of Accountants; former General Manager in-charge NSITF South West and General Manager, Finance; presently Acting Executive Director, Finance and Investment, NSITF.
“Executive Director Administration
Mrs. ALLAGOA, Maureen, BL; LLB Hons; Lawyer and Fellow of Chartered Institute of Administration, FCIA, MNIM, Birmingham City; former General Manager in-charge of NSITF Port Harcourt Region (Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and Cross Rivers); presently, Acting Executive Director, Administration, General Manager Administration and Human Resources. The Officer has varied experiences in Shell Petroleum Development (SPDC) and Coopers and Lybrand.
“Executive Director Operations
Mr. GANA Modu, B.A (Eng.); MBA. Mr. Gana joined the NSITF, Abuja Office in 1999 and served in Administration Department before moving to Zenith Bank Plc, and rose to become Head of Marketing and Maiduguri Zonal Head. With this wealth of experience, he rejoins the NSITF as Executive Director, Operations, to oversee Operations, Claims and Compensation, Risk Management, Safety and Health.
“Nominal Directors into the Board
Mrs. Lauretta Adogu, Director, Department of Occupational Safety and Health, to represent Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and replacing Dr, Ifeoma Anyawutaku now a Permanent Secretary.
” Alahaji Najeem Yasin – Deputy President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) representative to replace the late Khaleel Ibrahim who died sometime in October 2020
” The President also approved that erring companies and persons who default/neglect/refuse to make refunds of illegal monies paid to them will be sent to Anti-Graft Agencies (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission – EFCC and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission – ICPC) by the Minister of Labour and Employment for further necessary action.
“The Honourable Minister of the supervising Ministry via the Management Board to take all appropriate actions as the need arises to revitalise and reposition the Organisation to fulfil their mandates in accordance with the Enabling Act. This will include restructuring and streamlining the activities of the Organisation to attain the overall goal envisaged in setting up the organization.”
Vanguard News Nigeria