New Telegraph

Corruption: Group Urges Anti-Graft Agencies To Investigate NSITF

The Transparency and Accountability Group (TAG), a civil society coalition against corruption, has called on anti-corruption agencies to probe the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) over alleged non-remittance of N2.1 billion workers’ tax. The group made the call at a news conference by the Executive Director, Centre for Responsive Governance, Mr Ayodeji Ologun, in Abuja.

Ologun also called on both the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) to probe NSITF’s procurement processes. He called on President Bola Tinubu to intervene in the alleged series of crisis rocking the agency, which often result to frequent clash between the union and management.

He alleged that the sum of N2.1 billion was deducted from the NSITF staff’s salaries in 2022 as taxes, but instead of remitting it to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the agency invested it. He said that up till this moment the said amount was yet to be remitted to the FIRS, thereby delayed issuance of tax clear ance certificate to the staff of the agency.

“Members of staff of this agency living Lagos, particularly and other zones face different difficulties when applying tax clearance to enroll their wards in school. “Our findings revealed that rather than remitting this huge amount of money, the management of NSITF invested this money with Norrenberger, a company that wasn’t among the counterparties approved by the board of the agency,’’ he said.

Ologun said though the present Managing Director of NISTF, Mrs Maureen Allagoa, was the Executive Director of Administration when the money was invested; the deducted t”xes were yet to be remitted even under her watch. He also called on the antigraft agencies to investigate the role of the former Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, in the allegation.

Ologun also called on the ICPC to conduct a thorough investigation into appointment of a consultant by the NSITF to conduct forensic investigation without due process. He said that the fund managing director in December 2022 secretly appointed Messers Deem Forensic Integrated Services Limited to inspect the books of all contributors to the NSITF.

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