The President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government of Nigeria has ordered the sacking of the Managing Director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Mr. Bayo Somefun, alongside 12 other management staff over mismanagement and abuse of public funds worth N181 million.
In addition to the termination of their appointments, the Federal Government of Nigeria also directed that Mr Somefun and three other embattled Executive Directors refund the sum of N181, 056,000 to the NSITF treasury.
The overhaul of the top management hierarchy of NSITF was predicated on the report by the Presidential Joint Board and Audit Investigation Panel set up to probe the aforementioned individuals and body. The report found the aforementioned individuals culpable of gross financial misconduct based on the infractions noticed in the agency’s adherence to the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and the Financial Regulations.
Naijabusiness.com.ng learnt that the concerned individuals appropriated the sum of N181.06 million to themselves as allowances, including but not limited to; overseas travels, leave allowances for self and spouses overseas, house allowance, DSTV and club registration and extraneous allowances, all of which were not approved by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC).
Having been tried and found culpable, the President directed the sacking and immediate replacement of the following individuals: Bayo Somefun (MD); Jasper Azuatalam (Executive Director, Finance and Investment); Tijani Sulaiman (Executive Director, Operations); Olukemi Nelson (Executive Director, Administration and Human Resources); Bashorun Olumide (General Manager, Administration); Alhaji Lawan Tahir (General Manager, Finance and Accounts); Chris Esedebe (General Manager, Claims and Compensation); Enyinanya Sike(Deputy General Manager, Finance); Dorothy Tukura (Deputy General Manager, Training); Victoria Ayantuga (Assistant General Manager, Audit); Dotun Adegbite (Deputy General Manager, Investment); Arokoyo Olutoye (Deputy General Manager); Abdul Rasheed Lawan (Deputy General Manager, Procurement).
Affirming the rejig of the NSITF workforce, a statement from the Federal Ministry of Labour, signed by a representative, Mr. Charles Akpan read: ‘’ The “total overhaul” of the Procurement Department of the NSITF with a new team of Procurement Officers be trained from the pool of existing Staff and deployed to the Department while all the staff that have been serving there from 2017 – 2020 be removed and made to undergo disciplinary actions for offences ranging from injection of extraneous companies and projects after advertisement and bidding has been concluded, contract splitting, initiation of procurement contract without budgetary allocation, conversion and switching of one fully bided project to another. All Officers indicted are to receive the appropriate official sanction by the Board.’’
In a bid to fill the lacuna left by the departing management staff, the Federal Government of Nigeria simultaneously named a new management team which will be headed by Dr. Michael Akabogu. Dr. Akabogu until his recent appointment was the General Manager (Risk Management Department of the NSITF). He will be assisted by Mrs. Caroline Temitope Akinwale (Executive Director, Administration), Mrs. Maureen Allagoa (Executive Director, Operations) and Mr. Gana Modu (Executive Director, Finance).