*Eight general managers also affected
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the indefinite suspension from office of the Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Mr. Adebayo Somefun.
Also suspended from office were three senior directors of the fund, namely: Mr. Jasper Ikedi Azuatalam (Executive Director, Finance and Investment), Mrs. Olukemi Nelson (Executive Director, Operations), and Alhaji Tijani Darazo Sulaiman (Executive Director, Administration).
Some management staff who were also suspended are: Mr. Olusegun Olumide Bashorun (General Manager Administration/Human Resources/Maintenance), Mr. Lawan Tahir (General Manager, Finance), Mr. Chris Esedebe (General Manager, Claims and Compensation).
Others are Mr. Olodotun A. Adegbite (Deputy General Manager, Investment and Treasury Management), Mr. Emmanuel Enyinnaya Sike (Deputy General Manager, Finance and Accounts), Mrs. Olutoyin O. Arokoyo (Deputy General Manager/Acting Head, Legal), Ms. Dorathy Zajeme Tukura (Deputy General Manager, Administration) and Mrs. Victoria Ayantuga (Assistant General Manager, Internal Audit).
A statement signed by the Deputy Director/Head (Press and Public Relations), Charles Akpan, said the suspension of the officers arose from “the preliminarily established prima facie infractions on the extant Financial Regulations and Procurement Act, and other acts of gross misconduct.”
The statement said during the period of their suspension, the affected officers would face a Joint Board and Audit Investigative Panel that has been set up to look into the financial and procurement breaches, as well as gross misconduct in the NSITF for periods of 2016 to date, which have invariably put the contributions of stakeholders in a perilous state.
It said the affected officers had also been directed to hand over to the most senior officers in their respective departments.
While the executive directors are to hand over to the most senior general managers, the managing director will hand over to the most senior officer in the Fund.
The statement said that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, had accordingly approved that Kelly Nwagha, the General Manager of the Health, Safety and Environment Department, as the most senior General Manager in the Fund, to assume the position of Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive.
Mrs. Temitope Akinwale, a fellow of Institute of Chartered Accountants, and Regional General Manager in charge of the Ibadan Region, will take charge as General Manager in charge of Finance and to concurrently oversee the Office of the Executive Director of Finance and Investment as the Acting Executive Director.
Also Mrs. Maureen Allagoa, the Regional General Manager in charge of Port Harcourt Region moves to NSITF Headquarters as General Manager in charge of Administration, Human Resources and Maintenance and to concurrently oversee the Office of the Executive Director of Administration as Acting Executive Director.
Similarly, Mr. Baba Ma’aji Kabir, General Manager of Administration and Maintenance moves to Enforcement Department while concurrently overseeing the Office of the Executive Director of Operations as the Acting Executive Director.
The statement said that all the appointments were with effect from Monday, 6th July 2020 and will last until further notice.
The minister also directed the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Austin Enajemo Isire, to take charge in order to ensure that the investigative panel commences work as soon as possible and for the board to facilitate the smooth running of the Fund by creating the enabling environment and all the necessary staff adjustments and movements, in order to guarantee that services by staff to the contributors do not in any way suffer.