The House of Representatives has directed the Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity to investigate the activities of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) in relation to the expenditure of ₦2.3 billion by its management.
This followed a unanimous adoption of a motion moved by Rep. Francis Waive during the plenary presided over by the Deputy Speaker of the house, Mr Idris Wase on Tuesday.
The motion is titled “Need to Investigate the Activities of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF)”.
Moving the motion, Waive recalled the report, in the Vanguard Newspaper of Nov. 24, alleging a fraud of ₦2.3 billion against the management of NSITF carried out without the authorisation of its board or approval of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
The lawmaker added the transaction exceeded the spending threshold of the management, according to the report.
He said the report also indicated that the management allegedly awarded multi-million naira contracts for the construction of office complexes of the NSITF in 12 states.
He added that “this is in addition to approving millions of naira as duty tour allowances for trips, in contravention of a recent directive from the Presidency banning such trips in order to reduce wastage.
“At the end of August 2019, the sum of ₦2,294,161,925 had allegedly been spent on staff trainings which were mostly not approved by the board or the Ministry of Labour and Employment, while many of the staff of the fund claimed that they never attended any training, with a lot of infractions in the process.”
The lawmaker expressed concern over the claim by the management that it had spent billions of naira in settling outstanding debts to contractors but details of such debts were not provided to the board or the ministry.
He added that the claim raised suspicion about the genuineness of the claimed debts and payments.
The house, however, said there was “an urgent need to investigate the allegations to reposition the fund to deliver on its mandate and also help in stamping out corrupt practices in ministries, departments and agencies of government”
The lawmakers also directed the investigating committee to report back in four weeks for further legislative action.