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Group Slam Chris Ngige Over NSITF Controversy

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The Civil Society Groups for Good Governance (CSGGG) has reacted to the recent controversy in the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

The group accused the minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige of circumventing President Muhammadu Buhari.

Briefing journalists on Saturday, July 4 in Abuja, the convener of CSGGG, Comrade Ogakwu Dominic, described the minister’s action as an unpatriotic act.

Dominic said that “the present management of NSITF has performed creditably well within three years to improve on what they met on ground.” He added that the management structure at the NSITF “should be returned to the status quo ante to further enrich Nigeria on the culture of performance and excellence.”

According to him, the present management of the NSITF has “consolidated on the achievements of the previous administration while improving upon existing systems.

“The industrial relations atmosphere which was hostile and explosive before they assumed office due to low staff morale is now generally peaceful.

“The backlog of staff salaries owed were cleared and all allowances and arrears wed from year 2012 have been paid up to date.

“The management has also implemented public procurement guidelines to promote transparency of procurement operations. “Also, a total of 225 trainings were carried out, while 4,987 staff have been trained nationwide and there have been robust monitoring and evaluation of regions and branches with the provision of vital working tools for staff,” he added.

Dominic noted that Ngige crossed the line with his proclamation, stressing that the recent position of Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, bars cabinet ministers from removing heads of agencies and parastatals they supervise.

“Ngige’s action, which does not have the backing of the president, has now brought to fore the minister’s disobedience to statutory laws,” he noted.

The group called on President Buhari to intervene in the controversy “in order not to allow lawless appointees rubbish and embarrass his administration.”

Recall that on Thursday, July 2, media reports suggested President Buhari had approved the indefinite suspension of the Managing Director and Chief Executive of the NSITF, Adebayo Somefun.

The report also said the president approved the suspension of four directors of the agency – Jasper Ikedi Azuatalam, Olukemi Nelson, and Alhaji Tijani Darazo Sulaiman.

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