The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) says its management remains operational, despite being suspended by minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige.
In a letter dated July 1, 2020 and addressed to Adebayo Somefun (pictured), managing director of NSITF, Ngige said President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the suspension of the management Somefun heads over “misappropriation and other gross misconduct”.
Somefun was instructed to hand over to the most senior official in the board, and face a panel that would investigate procurement dealings of the agency from 2017 to 2020.
But reacting in a statement on Thursday, NSITF said the president has not given such a directive.
“The Management of NSITF read the press release published by some media outfits that the President has suspended the management of NSITF and announced same”.
“We wish to state that President Muhammadu Buhari has not suspended the management of NSITF and did not make such announcement. The person mentioned in the media report is not a staff of the President”.
“For clarity, we need to mention that we received a letter from the Hon Minister of Labour and Employment Sen Chris Ngige stating that he is doing a procurement audit on NSITF and that Management is suspended”.
“We note that the Minister’s action is against President Buhari’s directive through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation that stated clearly that no Minister should suspend or sack any head of agency appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari”.
The memo stated that Ministers should follow procedures by going through the governing board of the agency that will now make recommendations to the SGF to act if there is need. We are sure that President Buhari will not be part of any illegality and lack of due process.
“Meanwhile, the management of NSITF is open to any form of investigation by the appropriate agency as there is nothing that the management will hide or is hiding. We have been in receipt of several letters by the minister and several petitions written against NSITF by the Minister of Labour, Sen Chris Ngige and we will make all communications available to the public and relevant authorities”.
“The Management of NSITF is still discharging its duty as appointed by Mr President” stated by NSITF Management