Buhari sacks MD of NSITF, Approves Appointment of Akabogu Michael

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The suspended Managing Director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund(NSTIF) has been sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari for allegedly spending N3.4 billion on “non-existent staff training.”

Akabogu Michael has been appointed by the President to replace Somefun as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer.

Last year, Somefun and three other Executive members of the NSITF were suspended for breaching procurement rules and other financial infractions by Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment.

The minister had accused the then Management team of embezzling N3.4 billion on “non-existent staff training split into about 196 different consultancy contracts to evade the Ministerial Tenders Board and Federal Executive Council (FEC) approvals.

Sequel to the suspension, Buhari inaugurated a Presidential Joint Board and Audit Investigation Panel set up in July 2020 to investigate and scrutinize the infractions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, and the Financial Regulations (FR) in the NSITF.

According to a statement by the Deputy Director of Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan,  the President acted on the report of the panel to approve the sacking of Somefun and also ordered the reconstitution of the management board of NSITF on Monday.

Somefun and the three Executive Directors fingered in financial infractions were asked to return to the NSITF treasury N181, 056,000 million being illegal overpayments in salaries, allowances such as overseas travels, leave allowances for self and spouses in overseas, house allowance, DSTV, and club registration and extraneous allowances not approved by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC).

The statement read: “These financial infractions and other serious prima facia established malfeasance had resulted in the President approving the setting up of the Panel and the subsequent suspension from Office of the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive, and the three Executive Directors respectively of Finance and Investment, Operations, and Administration and Human Resources. Nine other top Management Officers in the General Manager Cadre were also suspended with the MD and the three Executive Directors on the recommendations of the Honourable Minister of Labour & Employment.

“In approving the implementation of the recommendations in the Panel’s report, the President specifically approved:

“The removal from Office of the MD/CE and the three (3) Executive Directors and their immediate replacement from the pool of General Managers of the NSITF and if necessary sourcing of capable hands from sister-like corporate organizations to uplift performance in the NSITF,” it continued.

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