Nigeria: Termites At NSITF – Ex-MDs Should Explain Whereabouts of ‘Missing’ Vouchers – MGT

The management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, has debunked the allegation of existence of termites eating up vouchers at the Fund.

It, for the umpteenth time, also stated that all the financial infractions being investigated by the Senate Public Account Committee happened between 2012 and 2017.

In a statement yesterday, the agency insisted that there was no termite at the NSITF, insisting that former managing directors of the Fund between 2012-2017 must explain if there were vouchers and where they kept them.

Expressing surprise at the alleged twist of events at the Senate public hearing, the agency said: “The attention of the management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust, NSITF, has been drawn to news items, including newspaper editorials on termites said to have eaten vouchers at the organisation.

“It has therefore become overly important for the management to state the facts as well as its position on this false narrative about the fund, especially against the background of the Senate Public Accounts Committee Hearing probing the 2018 Audit Report of the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF) on N17.15billion, out of the nearly total of N58 billion, which was misappropriated from the Fund between 2012- 2015.

“We wish to officially make it clear without any shred of doubt that these financial infractions have nothing to do with the current management, which is just a year old.

“They were rather financial violations and sleazes committed by the former managements and boards who superintended over the affairs of our organisation between 2012 and 2017.

“Some members of the present management team were not even staff members of the organisation at this period in question.

“Indeed, when the Senate Committee initiated this current probe in 2021, we had to set up an internal committee to retrieve from First Bank and Skye Bank, detailed transactions involving the NSITF under the period as requested by the Committee.

“The documents were subsequently submitted to the Senate Committee. And to further assist the Senate Committee in the performance of their function, at their prompting, we equally invited former Managing Directors to respond to some of the questions raised in the reports of 2018 which the Senate is probing.”

“Nigerians who attended the Senate public hearing on Thursday, August 11, 2022, know and understand undoubtedly that beyond mischief and the attempt to make mountains out of a mole hill, the circumstance under which reference was made to termites, when one of the past managing directors had claimed that the vouchers for the N5 billion payment made in 2013 would still be in a container in the compound of the fund.”

It stated that after the discovery of huge financial infraction, the Office of the Minister of Labour and Employment, being the supervising Ministry requested for the special periodic check of the Auditor General of the Federation in 2017, having noticed that the Fund breached all the financial regulations and had no annual audit reports for five years between 2012 -2017.

“It was also the Minister who sought for the EFCC Report on the matter. The Senate Committee on Public Accounts therefore has made no new discoveries or acting on fresh report as skewed in a section of the press.

“It is only acting on the 2017 Auditor General’s Report submitted to the 8th Senate in 2018.

“Besides the EFCC acting on this matter, the Ministry of Labour and Employment, following presidential assent in 2017, also set up an Administrative Panel of Inquiry into this financial haemorrhage to unearth the administrative and financial lapses that gave rise to the unfortunate situation.”

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