President Buhari asked to investigate Ngige

President Buhari asked to investigate Ngige

- Presidnet Buhari has been called upon to probe labour minister, Ngige

- According to the Nigeria Labour, the minister abused his involvement in the affairs of the NSITF

- The presidency, however, said Buhari approved the move made by the minister

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the minister of labour, Chris Ngige, over his involvement in the affairs of the Nigeria Social Investment Trust Fund (NSITF).

Guardian reports that the organised labour also vowed to begin a protest in Abuja against Ngige on Monday, May 13.

Ayuba Wabba who is the president of NLC said the protest is not against the inauguration of the board but against the manner in which the minister superintended the affairs of the labour sector. He also condemned recent attacks on protesters at the minister’s residence.

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Wabba said the "labour movement was not particular about inaugurating Frank Kokori, a former general secretary of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), as the chair of the board but that a board should be in place to halt the alleged reign of Ngige as sole administrator of NSITF.

“We expect President Buhari to establish a commission of enquiry to look into the award of contracts and employment of 300 persons by the minister, if this administration is serious about fighting corruption. Our members will be at the inauguration tomorrow (today) because it is statutory.”

Wabba insisted that labour would ensure that the representatives of both the NLC and NECA are in the NSITF and would resist the running of the fund by proxy.

The presidency, however, reportedly said President Buhari approved the action of the minister.

Femi Adesina who is the special adviser to the president on media and publicity said: “All actions taken by Ngige towards the resuscitation and repositioning of this ailing agency, including the administrative panel of inquiry into the affairs of NSITF and the suspension of the inauguration of the board in 2018 were part of the special work plan approved for the minister by Mr. President.

“ That the NSITF is a hundred percent, federal government of Nigeria-owned insurance parastatal, under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, designed for the role of insuring workers (employees) in the public and private sectors. The organisation is empowered by law to implement the Employee Compensation Act (ECA) 2010 with mandate to insure workers and pay them compensation for accidents, deaths and injuries in the course of work;

“ That the NSITF was bedevilled and riddled with corruption between 2012 and 2015, which resulted in a colossal loss and mismanagement of about N48 billion out of the total N62 billion contributions during the said period. These were contributions by the employers – viz government and the private sector for payment of compensation to workers and even to employers for loss of man-hours by their workers. The fraud has been investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the last chairman and some members of the former board and some officials of the NSITF are presently being prosecuted by the EFCC;

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“That all actions taken by the minister towards the resuscitation and repositioning of the agency, including the suspension of the inauguration of the board in 2018 were part of the special work plan approved for Ngige by Buhari; and that the NSITF was bedevilled and riddled with corruption between 2012 and 2015, which resulted in a colossal loss and mismanagement of about N48 billion out of the total N62 billion contributions during the said period. These were contributions by the employers – viz government and the private sector for payment of compensation to workers and even to employers for loss of man-hours by their workers. The fraud has been investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the last chairman and some members of the former board and some officials of the NSITF are presently being prosecuted by the EFCC."

Legit.ng earlier reported that Ngige denied inviting thugs to manhandle protesting workers who blocked the entrance to his residence in Abuja on Wednesday, May 8. Ngige stated this in a statement by Nwachukwu Obidiwe, his special assistant on media.

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Source: Legit

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