Nigeria: Ministers gets summon over poor remittance to NSITF


The House of Representatives yesterday summoned the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun and her counterparts in Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige and Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma.
The invitation by the House adhoc committee was to answer questions on alleged non-remittance of contributions by federal, states and local governments to the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF). Also, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, was summoned to answer questions on workers one per cent contribution from their monthly salaries.

According to the committee Chairman, Chukwuka Onyema, the three tiers of governments, as well as Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) had not made appreciable contributions to the fund since 2010, when the NSITF Act came into being.Onyema disclosed that the federal government agencies owe the NSITF N17 billion, adding that the Nigerian Police is currently indebted to the tune of N16.2 billion.
He cited other organs of government that had disregarded the provisions of the Act, as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Police.He explained that it is illegal to violate the law, which he said, exposes the vast majority of the workforce to uninsured and uncovered risk, as well as other occupational hazards.

A representative of the police told the committee that they were yet to be registered in the scheme, despite that they had written to be enlisted.The Managing Director of NSITF, Mr. Adebayo Somefun, said only Bauchi, Taraba and Gombe states had indicated interest to make contributions, while other states, including the Federal Capital Territory and its six area councils were yet to key into it.

The Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, said the investigation was pursuant to a motion brought on the floor of the House on the matter.He called on all organs of government to key into the scheme, as the present administration “is fully committed to the public sector reforms, including the sphere of public finance management, to which series of policy and legislative interventions had been instituted.

Somefun had explained the benefits of the contributions to include encouragement of safety in workplace and provision of compensation for death, occupational diseases and injuries.

“The scheme also reduces personal, physical and emotional suffering of employees and their relatives, as well as minimises bureaucracy and bottlenecks in determining liabilities,” he added.The NSITF boss stressed disclosed that Section 33 of the Employee’s Compensation Act (ECA) provided that every employer shall, within the first two years of the commencement of the Act; make a minimum monthly contribution of 1.0 per cent of the total payroll into the fund.

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