Labour Minister Swears In MWUN President, Adeyanju, Others For NSITF Board

Abiola Seun        |

The Minister of labour and employment , Chris Ngige, on Monday inaugurated  Comrade Adewale Adeyanju as a board member of the National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

The insurance trust fund which had Mr Austin Enejamo-Isire, as the board chairman, were sworn in  on the backing of the presidency, amid labour protest.

The is coming two years after the inauguration of the NSITF board by President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to the minister, the delay in the inauguration is caused by an allegation of “monumental fraud” between 2012 and 2015 of which, the sum of N62.5 billion was contributed; N48 billion was unaccounted for and N25 billion was withdrawn without vouchers.

The minister urged the inaugurated board to execute their duties objectively with transparency while focusing on staff welfare, not self-gratification. He advised the members to resist the temptation of fixing special allowances for themselves. The organised labour, however, had rejected the development, accusing the minister of replacing the name of the recommended chairman, Frank Kokori, for another.

In a press address, after a central working committee meeting on Thursday, Ayuba Wabba, the National Labour Congress(NLC) president, stated that the minister had no justification to change the appointment made by the president on the basis that he never recommended Frank Kokori to head the NSITF board.

It would be recalled that the labour union last Wednesday, picketed the minister’s residence, on a ground of exclusion of one of their members, Kokori from the NSITF board. This, however, resulted in a clash between people suspected to be the minister’s loyalists and the affected labour officials.

The presidency, in its reaction on the rift between the minister and the labour union, in statement on Sunday by the special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, stated that the decision of the minister, concerning the NSITF has full backings of the presidency, and it is in consonance with Sec. 4(a) of the NSITF Act CAP N88 of 2004  approved by Mr. President since 23rd July, 2018 on the recommendation of the minister.

The statement noted, that Comrade Frank Kokori , on the recommendation of the minister would chair the board of Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), a diploma awarding labour institution.

However, the former  General Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Frank Kokori, has rejected the stand of the Government, saying, that “it came too late”.

The NLC on Monday, May 13, took to the streets of Abuja to protest against Ngige over the attack on its members by persons suspected to be hired thugs when they picketed the residence of the Minister.

Mr. Austin Enejamo-Isire, the NSIFT board chairman is a Chartered Accountant, Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and renowned Insurance expert, Senior Member, Chartered Institute of Insurance of Nigeria (CIIN), Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) was approved by Mr. President for this position.

Also approved as Non-Executive Directors are two (2) members to represent NLC, two members to represent the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) and one (1) member each to represent the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

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