We’re To Build New Future For NSITF – MD

Dr. Michael Akabogu, the new Managing Director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), assured Nigerians of the agency’s zeal to deliver on its mandate and build a future different from the controversial past of the organization.
The MD said the cardinal focus of the new management was to ensure proper conduct of the affairs of the agency as the only way to restore the confidence of the Nigerian public in the administration of its duties.
Akabogu stated this on Monday in Abuja, while reacting to last week’s indictment of the agency by the Senate for misappropriating  N84b. A statement by Alexandra Mede, Deputy General Manager, Corporate affairs disclosed.
Mede qouted the NSITF boss saying that the  development  had nothing to do with the current  management which according to him had charted a fresh direction  to make good out of the bad record of the agency by creating a new future for the NSITF.
“Importantly, what the Senate Public Account Committee  did is in exercise of  its statutory oversight function but it is equally important to inform the  public   that what the committee  probed is a cumulative of financial violations by successive  management   that ran the agency between  2012  and 2020. This is important to clear ambiguity and forestall wrong finger pointing.
“ Any deviation from this well laid path to efficient and honest stewardship is a return to Egypt,  which we collectively assured the President and the people of Nigeria,  through the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, the day we were inaugurated, that we shall sacrifice anything to guard against. ”
The MD also noted that some of the shortcomings which the Senate  raised in its findings  such as the unapproved salary structure,  had been redressed  in 2019 when  the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission gave its approval to the structure.
“As a matter of fact, the infractions that formed the basis of the indictment by Senate are negative trails of financial breaches  which also  have been  variously probed  since the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation raised its flag in 2015.
“ The  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) has probed and taken the former chairman of the Board and  five other senior officials including the Managing Director and three Directors to court while recovering huge sums of money and property. Other indicted staff members were removed from office.
“There was also the  Administrative Panel of Inquiry led by C.K Awotu, set up by the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment in 2017 which made far reaching recommendations.
“And  the Presidential Joint Board and Audit Investigation Panel of 2020 which also led to the sack of the immediate past Managing Director, three Executive Directors and other members of senior management team.So, there is no new sins being investigated, just as we commit to the enthronement of transparency and accountability in all we do.
“In essence , the Fund new management which came into office on June , 1, 2021, sees this as  a condition precedent to avoid the dark past which we have collectively vowed never to allow to repeat, while drawing a number of lessons therefrom.” he declared.
The Managing Director further said  the Management has hit the ground running with a strategic Plan, creating institutional checks for adherence to  the Financial Regulations of the Federal Government as well as the Public Service Rules, including committing to employee welfare among other best practices.
“ We are initiating  a model to check the financial and audit points of the Fund through strategic staff re-evaluation that will shut down financial  guzzle pipes and other avenues of waste.
“ We see to it that there is  a yearly audit of the fund’s account by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation to avoid a situation where the agency’s account was not audited for five years,” he added.

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