Says it’s committed to transparency, accountability
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja
Management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF has said that its financial transactions are open and that the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC are free to investigate them if they feel that there is any form of allegation against the Fund,
This came on the heels of the alleged request of some unidentified staff of the Fund calling for the probe of the organization by the anti-graft agencies over the recent report by the ICPC that stated that about 52 agencies of government including NSITF were identified as high corruption risks.
Management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF has invited the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to investigate its books if they feel that there is any form of allegation against the Fund,
The invitation came on the heels of the alleged request of some unidentified staff of the Fund calling for the probe of the organization by the anti-graft agencies over the recent report by the ICPC that stated that about 52 agencies of government including NSITF were identified as high corruption risks.
A statement by Ijeoma Oji-Okoronkwo, General Manager/Head Corporate Affairs of NSITF said that the allegation of corruption against the organisation was taken out of context to suit a negative purpose, describing it unfounded and an attempt to distract the management from its commitments to carrying out its mandates.
The statement further stated that the Fund will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that its operations are conducted with the highest level of integrity and transparency, adding, “As of date we have fully paid adequate monetary compensations to workers who suffer workplace or any other type of accidents in the course of work. Organisations with such work place patients have had such medical Bills paid or reimbursed appropriately by NSITF and victims given Prosthesis where necessary by our claims and Compensation Department in consonance with the Employees Compensation Act(ECA)2010 which is our operational Law.
“Same goes for our family welfare package for the Family defendants if the accident result in the death of the Employee- the family bread winner All organizations that are up to date in their contributions can attest to these facts.”
The statement with the title: “Alleged high corruption risks: NSITF calls for system study, commits to transparency and accountability”, read: “Our attention is drawn to the purported call by some staff of the Fund allegedly requesting an immediate probe of the agency by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) as well as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
“This call is based on a breakdown of the ICPC info graph showing that 52 agencies which includes NSITF, National Broadcasting Commission, Federal Civil Service Commission, Court of Appeal, National Hospital and several other Government agencies, were identified as non-responsive implying that these agencies did not respond to enquiries on them. The ICPC consequently marked them as “High Corruption Risk HCR” and were “flagged for the attention of the public and for further inquiries and actions”.
“The allegation of corruption against the Fund which was taken out of context to suit a negative purpose is therefore unfounded and an attempt to distract the management from its commitments to carrying out its mandates.
“Although NSITF in the past has had to deal with several negative press attributed to the past Board and some members of management of the Fund, the new Board put up 2019 and the new management under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the supervision of the Minster for Labour and Employment Senator Chris Ngige have been piloting the affairs of the Fund in line with all relevant laws, regulations and guidelines.
“This is predicated on the fact that the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund under the current leadership runs an open door policy and has not defaulted in the Fund’s mandate and the presidential directives on transparency and accountability. However, we take any accusations of corruption very seriously and will maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards such behavior as our books are open and our records are there to speak for us.
“On the same premise we reiterate that the alleged complaints by “anonymous staff are more imaginary than real. They are the work of a few who are disgruntled that due process is now here and believe that continuous turmoil and confusion in the organisation will one way or the other benefit them. We therefore put it on record that our records are available
“The ICPC which has the mandate of carrying out system reviews for MDAs is invited to do a thorough and fair system study of the Fund to enable the Fund identify gaps, build more robust internal controls and systems to prevent and detect instances of corruption and report same.
“In the meantime, we would like to reassure the public that the NSITF remains fully committed to its mandate of providing social security to all Nigerian workers. The Fund will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our operations are conducted with the highest level of integrity and transparency.
“While we reiterate that we have a cordial relationship with all the anti-graft agencies and have no corruption arraignments on the present management, we call on the ICPC to reassess the Fund and subsequently give a fair ranking to our esteemed organization management has set up a committee to find out why the questionnaire sent to us by the ICPC last year on which her ranking was based was not appropriately responded to on time.
“This will enable us clean up the bad press that has hung on the neck of NSITF over the past years since 2016 when the Chairman and some members of Board and management were arraigned by the EFCC and some recoveries and forfeitures made.
“The Ministry and the last Tripartite Board (composed of employers and workers union reps)whose tenure recently expired had both made sure that it was not business as usual in the organization as can be seen from recent Auditor General of the Federation’s report.
“We look forward to the opportunity to fully restore the confidence of our stakeholders and the public in our organization. NSITF is still committed to employees’ welfare in order to create an ambient working atmosphere for both the employees (workers) and employers (workplace owners)”.
The post Corruption allegation: Our books are open for probe – NSITF appeared first on Vanguard News.
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