Buhari Sacks NSITF Boss, 12 Top Officials
*Akabogu appointed as new MD
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the sack of the Managing Director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) Mr. Bayo Somefun,
along with 12 top management staff of the organisation.
Buhari subsequently approved the appointment of Dr. Michael Akabogu as the new Managing Director of NSITF.
In what seemed like a total overhaul of the top management hierarchy of NSITF, the president ordered the sack of the three Executive Directors, Finance and Investment, Jasper Azuatalam,
Operations, Tijani Sulaiman and
Administration and Human Resources, Mrs. Olukemi Nelson, as well as nine top management officers of the organisation.
A statement signed by the. Deputy Director, Press
Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Charles Akpan, said the dismissal of the affected officers was with effect from July 1, 2020.
Until his present appointment, Akabogu was the General Manager (Risk Management Department of the NSITF).
The new Executive Directors are: Finance and Investment Mrs. Caroline Temitope Akinwale; Executive Director Administration
Mrs. Maureen Allagoa; and Executive Director Operations, Mr. Gana Modu.
Apart from Messrs. Bayo Somefun, Jasper Azuatalam, Tijani Sulaiman and Mrs. Olukemi Nelson who were relieved of their appointments with effect from July 1, 2020, the appointments of nine top management officers on suspension with the MD and Executive Directors were also terminated compulsorily with some to be retired after demotion in ranks from their present ranks as recommended by the panel.
The embattled former MD and the three Executive Directors are also to refund to the NSITF Treasury the total of N181, 056,000 being illegal over payments in salaries and allowances such as overseas travels, leave allowances for self and spouses overseas, house allowance, DSTV and club registration and extraneous allowances not approved by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC).
The reconstitution of the NSITF management board followed the approval of the recommendations in the Report of the Presidential Joint Board and Audit Investigation Panel set up by the President in July 2020 to investigate the infractions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, and the Financial Regulations (FR) in the NSITF.
In approving the implementation of the recommendations in the Panel’s report, the President specifically approved approved the immediate replacement of the sacked officers from the pool of General Managers of the NSITF and if necessary sourcing of capable hands from sister corporate organizations to uplift performance in the NSITF.
The statement said that other nine top Management staff whose appointments were terminated for various infractions and who had also benefitted from the excess remuneration were to refund such overpayments to the panel.
The affected staff are; , General Manager, Administration, Bashorun Olumide; General Manager, Finance and Accounts, Alhaji Lawan Tahir; General Manager, Claims and Compensation, Chris Esedebe; Deputy General Manager, Finance, Enyinanya Sike; Deputy General Manager, Training, Dorothay Tukura; , Assistant General Manager, Audit, Victoria Ayantuga; Deputy General Manager, Investment, Dotun Adegbite;
Deputy General Manager, Arokoyo Olutoye
Legal; Deputy General Manager, Procurement, Abdul Rasheed Lawan
Part of the statement from the Ministry reads: The “total overhaul” of the Procurement Department of the NSITF with a new team of Procurement Officers be trained from the pool of existing Staff and deployed to the Department while all the staff that have been serving there from 2017 – 2020 be removed and made to undergo disciplinary actions for offences ranging from injection of extraneous companies and projects after advertisement and bidding has been concluded, contract splitting, initiation of procurement contract without budgetary allocation, conversion and switching of one fully bided project to another. All Officers indicted are to receive the appropriate official sanction by the Board.
The President also approved and directed that the Head of Service of the Federation terminate the appointment and dismiss the erstwhile Head of Procurement Department Engr. Abdulrasheed Lawal from the Public Service with effect from the date of suspension.
The President also approved that erring companies and persons who default/neglect/refuse to make refunds of illegal monies paid to them will be sent to Anti-graft agencies (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission – EFCC and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission – ICPC) by the Minister of Labour and Employment for further necessary action.
The president directed the Minister to take all appropriate actions as need arises to revitalise and reposition the organisation to fulfill their mandates in accordance with the Enabling Act.