Nigeria Labour News

NSITF partners EFCC, ICPC, BPP to enthrone corporate governance

THE Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) is partnering with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to enthrone the culture of corporate governance.

The Managing Director of NSITF, Adebayo Somefun disclosed this in Abuja when he hosted members of the Civil Society Coalition for Transparency.

His words: “Definitely there were some level of fraud that were committed in the NSITF before we came on board, which was why we decided to work closely with the EFCC, ICPC, and BPP to build a culture of integrity of operations for NSITF towards the prevention of any fraudulent acts during our tenure and beyond.”

On why the management of the NSITF has not made categorical statement on the alleged fraud in the Fund, the boss explained: “There are actions going on in the court on the matter and anti-graft agencies are also on the case. None of these actions have been concluded, no report has been submitted and the Minister has also set up an administrative panel and auditors came here and yet the management is yet to receive the report of the administrative panel. All we know about the panel is what all Nigerians have been reading in the news mediums.”

He hinted that 42 workers that lost their limbs, legs and other parts of human body have been rehabilitated in the past 14 months when the present management came on board.

The NSITF boss added that apart from providing artificial limbs and legs for workers that lost parts of their body in the course of work, they are equally rehabilitated and trained on how to use the equipment aid by medical professionals.

He added that the present management has overhauled the procurement operation through competitive bidding and advertisement in Newspapers for procurement in order to ensure transparency and accountability.

He revealed that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation has approved the recruitment of 22 law officers to boost the implementation of Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS) and that 2,598 staffers have been trained to boost staff efficiency.

The NSITF Chief highlighted that the Electronic Revenue Collection, Claims and Compliance (ERC3) system, which will begin on the 1st August 2018 was introduced to galvanise investment, compliance and compensation activities as well as overall operation of the Fund, saying efforts are currently intensified to ensure data integrity of the system.

On her part, the Executive Director Operation of NSITF, Kemi Nelson, who commended the Enforcement department for improving on revenue generation capacity of the organisation, explained that the Fund has established a special account that is fully dedicated to the payment of claims and compensation.

The Executive Director Administration of NSITF, Tijani Darazzo said efforts are underway to implement proper placement of staff, which has been a bone of contention between the management and in-house union.

“The proper placement of staff has been an issue that has been lingering since 2011. The committee on the issue submitted two reports. The first report and the implementation report because some of the existing staff did not have the opportunity to apply when the scheme was introduced so we gave them another chance”, he said.

In his remarks, the President of Civil Society Coalition for Transparency, Mike Femi lauded the management for introducing innovations that have repositioned the Fund for greater efficiency.

He said: “We came here because we wanted to know more about the operations of the NSITF and we have been given some information. We were surprised by the swift nature our letter was responded to. That shows a high level of efficiency. We will work with you to enthrone transparency and fight against corruption as agents of change.”

The President of NSITF Unit of the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFIE), Gbahbong Manfa lauded the management for taking fresh steps to place workers appropriately and expressed the readiness of the union to work with the management to deliver on its mandate.

The union leader stated: “We can say clearly without mincing words that this present team of management has taken us out of the unpalatable situation we found ourselves few years ago. We were in situation where salaries were not paid as at when due, arrears not settled and allowances payment was taken for granted. Today, we are ready to work with this team because salaries are paid on the 20th of every month, arrears and allowances have been settled.”

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