NSITF Board: NLC President Is Being Economical With The Truth – Ngige

Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige, says the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Ayuba Wabba is being economical with the truth.

He stated this on Tuesday while appearing on a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“The NLC President is being economical with the truth. I told them that this name you people have inserted there is an invalid nomination.

“It was on that basis that I asked Mr Kokori to give me his Curriculum Vita (CV). As a matter of fact, this NLC President came to my office and lied to me that the Vice President asked them to bring a nomination.

“And I told him, it cannot stand. You know what the Act says. Based on that, I wrote to the Vice President pointing out that I should nominate. As at two weeks ago, the Vice President said he didn’t see them,” he said.

READ ALSO: Ngige, Labour Trade Blames Over NSITF Board Inauguration

But reacting, the NLC President faulted the Minister for the delay in the constitution of the board, blaming the action on an alleged lack of communication between the Federal Government and the labour.

While maintaining that Kokori was not recommended by the labour, he insisted that his appointment was based on a recommendation from the Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) being a member.

He said: “The issue of Kokori’s appointment was not the issue mainly, it was inaugurating the board. So clearly speaking, there is a breakdown in communication. That communication which was made public to Nigerians only came at the eve of the inauguration two days ago.

“We are social partners in this particular issue. It’s a labour market institution. We shouldn’t wait until the 11th hour. Labour should have been informed. Even him Kokori should have been informed.

“Even now, there is no formal communication to him. After the Minister invited him to his house and had dinner to say you have been appointed, there is no formal communication to labour.

When asked when the implementation of the new national minimum wage would commence, the Minister said he doesn’t know.

He, however, explained that the Federal Government would constitute an Implementation Committee comprising of seven ministers and the Salaries and Wages Commission.

“An implementation committee on the government sides would be inaugurated today in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.

“There are about seven ministers who are there. The head of the Civil Service of the Federation will chair the committee, the Chairman, Salaries Income and Wages Commission will be the secretary and we will have the secretariat,” he said.

Ngige’s comment follows the faceoff between himself and the NLC over the constitution and inauguration of the board for the National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

Members of the Labour Union have been aggrieved following the replacing of Frank Kokori as the Chair of NSITF Board with Enejamo-Isire and his subsequent reappointment as the chair the board of Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies.

Ngige Inaugurates New NSITF Board After Two-Year Delay

The new board of National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) during their inauguration on Monday, May 13, 2019.

 

The minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has inaugurated the new National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) board after a two-year delay.

Ngige while inaugurating the new board in Abuja, on Monday, said that the two-year delay in the inauguration is as a result of massive looting in the organisation between 2012 and 2015.

According to the minister, between that period, the sum of N62.5 billion was contributed out of which N48 billion was unaccounted for and N25 billion was withdrawn without vouchers.

The new board is to be chaired by Austin Enejomo-Isire.

READ ALSO: NLC Vs Ngige: Presidency Breaks Silence On Rift Over NSITF

The past board members are currently being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Ngige, however, charged the new board to resist the temptation of fixing special allowances for themselves urging them to execute their duties fairly and transparently.

He also advised them to focus on staff welfare, not personal enrichment.

Dr Chris Ngige while inaugurating the new board of National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) on Monday, May 13, 2019.

 

The inauguration of the new board comes a day after the Presidency said Ngige, had the backing of President Muhammadu Buhari in all the actions he (Ngige) had taken concerning the NSITF.

The Presidency in a statement on Sunday by Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said, “All actions taken by the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment toward the resuscitation and repositioning of this ailing agency (NSITF), including the Administrative Panel of Inquiry into the affairs of the 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.

“The appointment of the chairman of this board, which is in consonance with Section 4(a) of the NSITF Act CAP N88 of 2004, was also approved by Mr President since 23rd July, 2018, on the recommendation of the minister. Mr Austin Enejamo-Isire, a chartered accountant; Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and a renowned insurance expert; senior member, Chartered Institute of Insurance of Nigeria; Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria; and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria was approved by Mr President for this position,” the statement read in part.

There had been controversy over the inauguration of the NSITF board after Ngige postponed the board’s inauguration on the day it was scheduled to hold on April 18, 2019.

Enejomo-Isire Emerges New NSITF Chairman

Austin Enejomo-Isire

 

Mr Austin Enejomo-Isire has emerged as the new Chairman of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) board.

His appointment was announced in Abuja, on Monday, at the inauguration of the new NSITF board by the minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.

Enejamo-Isire is being appointed to “replace” Chief Frank Kokori as the chair of the board of the NSITF.

Kokori has subsequently been appointed to chair the board of Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies.

Ngige while inaugurating the new board said that the delay in the inauguration is as a result of massive looting in the organisation between 2012 and 2015.

READ ALSO: TUC Members Picket TCN Offices, Demand Removal Of MD

According to the minister, between that period, the sum of N62.5 billion was contributed out of which N48 billion was unaccounted for and N25 billion was withdrawn without vouchers.

The past board members are currently being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The minister, therefore, advised the new board to resist the temptation of fixing special allowances for themselves urging them to execute their duties fairly and transparently.

He also advised them to focus on staff welfare, not personal enrichment.