After thorough scrutiny of the 2017 report of the auditor general for the federation, the Senate Public Accounts Committee has lashed out at the management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) over alleged misappropriation of N84 billion within four years.
He said: “Twelve out of the 50 queries investigated so far by the committee indicates an excess of N84 billion was misappropriated, just unfortunate, in the space of four years. They depleted our resources, just a few human beings who are mindless.
“They are all guilty; they are implicated. The agency is most defiant and most nutritious,” he gushed in reaction to the query on the misappropriated NSITF fund.
According to the query forwarded to the senate, an audit observed that NSITF had been implementing a salary structure that is not approved by the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission. As a result, irregular payment of N38 billion by way of personnel cost was made to the staff of the NSITF from 2012 to 2017.
“Implementation of an unapproved salary structure may result in wastage of public funds, as remuneration may be higher than the productivity level of staff. The managing director is required to provide the approval of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission for the implementation of the fund’s salaries structure,” the statement read.
In his defense, Michael Akabogu, the managing director of the NSTIF, claimed that the amount was approved through a letter dated 4th July 2019. However, an examination of the letter from the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission on the alleged illegal salary at the commission shows that the letter was written five years after the commission started paying the salaries.
The senate had earlier in June threatened to issue a warrant of arrest against officials of Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and 54 other government agencies for their failure to appear for an investigative hearing.