- Dr Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, has stated that the appointment of Chief Frank Kokori as chairman of the NSITF never got presidential approval
- The minister said the name of Kokori’s replacement for chairman of the board, however, followed due process and got the presidential approval
- Ngige accused the NLC of frustrating government representatives from taking their rightful place on the board of Trustfund Pension
The appointment of Chief Frank Kokori as chairman of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) never got presidential approval, the minister for labour and employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has stated.
According to The Nation, in a statement released by his special assistant, Nwachuku Obidiwe, Ngige dismissed the claims by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). He said Kokori lacks the requisite experience to lead the fund.
Legit.ng gathers that Obidiwe stated that contrary to the stipulations of the act establishing the fund which empowers the minister to transmit the name to the president for approval, Kokori’s appointment was never transmitted to Buhari for approval.
He stated that the name of Kokori’s replacement for chairman of the board, however, followed due process and got presidential approval.
He said: “You know what has happened in that place in the recent past. The NSITF needed somebody with the required knowledge and experience and the new chairman is very qualified.
“As a chartered accountant and an insurance expert, he has what it takes to reposition the place. On the other hand, Kokori does not have what it takes to manage the place.
“The minister also did not receive any vehicle from NSITF. The only vehicle they advanced to the ministry is attached to the minister of state and that vehicle was only to ease means of transport. It still belongs to the fund.”
Obidiwe said an inter-ministerial committee comprising of representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, among others, had been set up by Ngige.
According to Obidiwe, the committee spent three months visiting several offices of the fund and carrying out its assignment.
He said: “If they spent N18 million in the process of trying to recover over N2 billion, I don’t think that is too much.”
The NLC was further accused of frustrating government representatives from taking their rightful place on the board of Trustfund Pension. The minister said labour’s opposition was because it was trying to hijack the opposition.
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Recall that Legit.ng previously reported that the minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, again defied the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, by refusing to inaugurate the board of the NSITF, over a month after he promised to do so.
Oshiomhole had threatened to expel Ngige from the party for failing to set up the board over five months after President Muhammadu Buhari ordered all ministers to inaugurate boards of government agencies.
The APC chairman had also alleged that Ngige was intentionally delaying the setting up of the board in order to retain the exclusive powers of awarding contracts from the agency which receives billions of naira monthly.
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