The Senate summoned the former CEOs of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund for the lack of certain financial documents in the agency.
Former NSTIF directors general expected to appear before the Senate Public Accounts Committee are Alhaji Umar Munir Abubakar, Adebayo Somefun and the agency’s former president, Ngozi Olejeme.
The committee chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide decided to invite the former CEOs following the failure of agency officials to answer questions from the Federation’s Auditor General’s office on financial breaches in the NSTIF.
Out of 50 requests from the Federation’s Auditor General, the Committee was able to establish that 84 billion naira had been embezzled by agency officials.
When the investigation of the Auditor General’s requests resumed, the agency was unable to present any financial document relating to the question raised by the Committee.
The agency’s executive director of finance and investment, Caroline Akinwale, specifically told lawmakers that there were no documents available on the transactions in question. She revealed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had brought to justice some of the former CEOs implicated in the financial crimes.
The president, however, ordered the agency to present the documents in its possession and the problem it currently has with the anti-transplant agency.
He also ordered that invitations be sent to the former directors general to come and report on what happened under their administrations.
He said: “We can no longer apologize for the fact that there is no record of the financial transactions mentioned, go back to your office and look for it and we also invite the former CEOs of NSTIF. They are due to appear before us on Tuesday.
The president had said at the end of the first day of the investigative hearing, 12 of the 50 petitions so far considered by the committee, “84 billion naira has been embezzled, simply miserable in the span of four years. . They have exhausted our resources, just a few foolish human beings. “
He added that it is unfortunate that the management of NSTIF and the board of directors reached an agreement between 2012-2017.
“They are all guilty, they are implicated, they stole the place dry. The agency is the most provocative and the most notorious, ”he submitted.
One of the queries states: “Audit observed that the Fund had implemented a salary structure which was not approved by the National Commission for Wages, Incomes and Wages. As a result, an irregular payment of N 38,219,919,530.32 for staff costs was made to Fund staff from 2012 to 2017.
“The implementation of an unapproved salary structure can lead to a waste of public funds, as the remuneration can be higher than the productivity level of the staff. Recommendation: “The Director General is required to provide the approval of the National Wages, Income and Salaries Commission for the implementation of the salary structure of the Fund”
But the CEO of NSTIF, Dr.
Michael Akabogu had claimed that the amount was approved by a letter dated July 4, 2019.
However, when the Committee examined the letter from the National Wages, Incomes and Wages Commission on the illegal salary of the commission, it was observed that the letter had been written five years after the Commission started to pay employees. wages.
The Committee further discovered in the letter from the National Commission for Wages, Incomes and Wages that an objection had been raised regarding the payment of wages not approved by the Commission.
The letter dated July 4, 2019 indicates in part that “however, the following anomalies are observed in the consolidated salary structure: 8 steps while another GL (Deputy Managing Director) and GL 16 have 5 steps each.
“The Fund is therefore advised to organize a meeting of the Fund and its supervisory ministry and this Commission to rectify these anomalies before the next promotion exercise in the agency.”
In another request it reads as follows: “The audit of the Fund’s bank statements for the period under review revealed that the contributions received from the federal government in 2014, in the amount of N 5,500,000,000.00 were been diverted to a Zenith Bank account number 1013938003, instead of the Skye Bank account number. 1790122304 to which other contributions were made, without providing any authority or explanation for such misappropriation.
“The audit further observed the following: A. The bank account was opened without the approval of the General Accountant of the Federation, as no such approval was presented for audit.
“The new account was opened specifically for this purpose, as shown by bank statements where a first installment of N 2,750,000,000.00 was used to open the account on August 29, 2014.
“In addition, transfers have been made from the account to third parties, individuals and other NSITF accounts without proof of payment and other supporting documents to authenticate these transfers.
“This calls into question the authenticity of all transactions on the bank account. Therefore, the audit cannot accept such transactions without necessary evidence as legitimate charges on public funds. “
The third request reads as follows: “Audit observed from Fund account statements n ° 1750011691 with Skye bank plc, for the period January 1, 2013 to December 20, 2013, and account statements n ° 2001754610 with First Bank Plc for the period January 7, 2013 to February 28, 2013, amounts totaling N17,158,883,034.69 were transferred to certain persons and companies from these accounts.
“However, the supporting documents for payment relating to the transfers as well as their supporting documents were not provided for audit. Consequently, the purpose (s) of the transfers could not be authenticated.
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