The suspended management of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) on Sunday said, contrary to allegations of misappropriation of funds, all trainings, contracts and rehabilitations carried out received the approvals of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, and the National Assembly.
The management also denied the allegation of contract splitting made by Dr Ngige.
“There was no contract splitting as claimed by the minister. The trainings referred to were budgeted for in the year 2017, 2018 and 2019 appropriations for over 5,000 staff nationwide, and Procurement Planning Committee Meetings were held for the procurement of goods, works and services to commence the procurement activities.
“All these details were included in the budget for these years, taken for budget defence in the supervising ministry, officially endorsed by the minister himself, approved and transmitted to the National Assembly for necessary approval during the budget defences for these years,” it said.
The minister had accused the suspended management that the project of construction of 14 zonal/regional offices in 14 states running into billions of Naira was a policy that was done without Board or ministerial knowledge not to talk of approval.
According to NSITF management, the projects were captured in the 2019 budget, brought for the budget defence in the supervising ministry, chaired by the minister himself, approved accordingly, endorsed by him, the Permanent Secretary, MD and General Manager Finance before it was forwarded from the supervising ministry to the National Assembly for further necessary action and budget defence.
To buttress the above claim, the suspended management said the minister personally increased the constructions by adding Akwa and Asaba sites.
“It is therefore not true that such policy issues were being done without Board or Ministerial knowledge, not to talk of approval.
“However, the only new office proposed for construction was in Awka at the direction and approval of the minister himself,” it added.
The minister also mentioned non-existent and un-executed N2.3 billion was documented and paid whileN1.1 billion is awaiting payment without any job done, all totalling N3.4 billion.