Probe Alleged Looting at NSITF, Group Urges Tinubu

Sylvester Idowu in Warri

The Centre for the Vulnerable and the Underprivileged (CENTREP) has called on President Bola Tinubu to set up a panel of inquiry into alleged monumental fraud ongoing at the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

The group said Tinubu should immediately direct the anti-graft agencies to beam their searchlights on NSITF following report that its Managing Director, Mrs. Maureen Allagoa, recently approved and paid herself over N47 million as gratuity while still in office against the extant rules.
The National Chairman of CENTREP, Oghenejabor Ikimi, at a press conference in Warri, yesterday, expressed disapproval at the development, wondering why the agency has not been investigated since the exit of the former managing director of NSITF, Dr. Michael Akabuogu.

“As noble as the objective of setting up the NSITF is, sadly it has failed in recent times in meeting its core mandate of providing a safe shelter net for employees, but had become a cesspool of unbridled corruption and fraudulent activities since the time of Dr. Michael Akabuogu, and the current MD, Mrs. Maureen Allagoa,” he alleged.

He added: “We had thought that after the unceremonious sacking of the immediate past Managing Director, Dr. Michael Akabuogu by former President Muhammadu Buhari over NYSC certificate forgery and the expiration of the tenure of the former Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige who serially undermined the extant rules of the agency and was running NSITF as his personal estate through his stooges, one would have thought that the Fund will heave a sigh of relief.

“This was not to be as the media was awash last week of how the current Managing Director of NSITF, Mrs. Maureen Allagoa, another stooge of Dr. Chris Ngige, approved and paid herself over N47 million as gratuity while still in office against global best practices and extant rules of NSITF,” he further alleged.
The group said further “The MD, Mrs Maureen Allagoa, through an internal memo with a Reference Number: NSITF/AC/I&A/5/S.4/B117 dated 3rd July 2023, from PM, Audit & Inspectorate, routed through AGM, Head, Audit & Inspectorate to the DGM, Head, Audit & Inspectorate reportedly paid herself N47m gratuity.

“In the memo titled; “RE: Gratuity Computation for Mrs Maureen Allagoa- (Aa/11272) for the period of service from September 2016 to February 2023 as General Manager and Executive Director respectively;” she approved and paid herself gratuity for the period she served as General Manager and Executive Director, a development that has created tension amongst the management and staff of the agency.

“This gratuity payment to herself was made as over 500 staff who retired in the past 5 years are been owed their retirement benefits. The DGM Audit should explain how she approved the payment when she denied other retired officers their entitlement.
“We have not forgotten that the current MD, Mrs Maureen Allagoa was alleged by the sacked former NSITF MD, Dr. Michael Akabogu of buying a house worth 180 million Naira through contracts she used her companies to float when she was ED Administration, and till date, the MD has not issued a statement to deny the allegation.”

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