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Lawmakers Berate NSITF Over Alleged Fraud Of N84bn

Lawmakers Berate NSITF Over Alleged Fraud Of N84bn

Lawmakers at the floor of the Senate on Monday berated the management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) over the alleged embezzlement of N84billion within four years.

The Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC) queried the fund for irregular payments and using an illegal salary structure as contained in the 2017 report of the Auditor General for the Federation (AuGF).

The Chairman of SPAC, Matthew Urhoghide, accused the agency of misappropriating N84 billion within four years based on the 12 out of the 50 queries before his panel.

 Urhoghide said, “Twelve out the 50 queries investigated so far by the committee is in excess of N84bn was misappropriated, just unfortunate, in the place of four years.

“They depleted our resources, just a few human beings who are mindless.

“They are all guilty; they are implicated. The agency is most defiant and most nutritious.”

One of the query reads, “Audit observed that the Fund had been implementing a salary structure that is not approved by the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission.

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“As a result, irregular payment of N 38,219,919,530.32 by way of personnel cost was made to the staff of the Fund from 2012 to 2017.

“Implementation of unapproved salary structure may result in wastage of public funds, as remuneration may be higher than the productivity level of staff.

“The managing director is required to provide the approval of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission for the implementation of the fund’s salaries structure.”

In response to all the allegations, the Managing Director of the NSTIF, Dr Michael Akabogu, claimed that the amount was approved in a letter dated July 4, 2019.

Meanwhile, when the Committee looked at the letter from National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission on the alleged illegal salary at the commission, it was observed the letter was written five years after the commission started paying the salaries.

The committee further discovered in the letter from the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission that an objection was raised about the payment of unapproved salaries by the commission.

About Author

Ife Ogunfuwa is an award-winning reporter who is versed in reporting business and economy, technology, gadgets reviews, telecoms, tax, and business policy review, among others. She loves telling stories behind the numbers. She has professional certifications in business and financial reporting. You can reach her via – [email protected]

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