Suspension: Reps back NSITF, slam Ngige, Keyamo over illegalities

Ngige (r) and Keyamo

The House of Representatives on Tuesday lambasted the Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige; and the Minister of State, Festus Keyamo, over the suspension of the board of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund.

The House particularly declared the suspension of the NSITF management by the minister illegal, accusing him of committing various illegalities through his office.

The House, at the day’s plenary, resolved to investigate the activities of Ngige, Keyamo, and the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, who also sacked the Managing Director of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, Marilyn Amobi, in a controversial circumstance.

The House set up an ad hoc committee to investigate “the procedural breaches of the presidential directives by both the Minister of Labour and Employment and his counterpart in Power, the alleged breach in procurement procedures by these agencies, and financial malpractices and malfeasance by these agencies.”

The panel is to report back to the House within one week.

In a motion moved by Mr. Leke Abejide, which the lawmakers unanimously adopted, the House called for the lifting of the suspension, asking the management of NSITF to shun Ngige’s directive.

Moving the motion, Abejide decried how chief executives of agencies “are being removed these days.” He noted that people prefer to work with parastatals of the Federal Government because of job security. According to him, before one is removed from a position, one is given time to defend oneself and procedures will be followed.

He said, “But this time when a minister does not like your face, he will use his power to remove you as if we are practising a fascist system of government. This is not good for us and it is also not good for him as Minister of Labour, who is supposed to be the custodian of the workforce.

“But he is now the one showing a bad example to others and if this is not stopped, it will get to a level that we will not be able to control it again. If power is given to you, you use anyhow, causing problems for the country. We want this to serve as a deterrent to anyone who would want to do this in the future.”
~The Punch
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