President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate, compulsory, and indefinite suspension of Mr Adebayo Somefun, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).
A statement on Thursday from the Head of Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan, revealed that the President also suspended 11 top officials of the agency.
They include Jasper Azuatalam (Executive Director, Finance and Investment), Olukemi Nelson (Executive Director, Operations), and Tijani Sulaiman (Executive Director, Administration).
Others are Olusegun Bashorun (General Manager, Administration/Human Resources/Maintenance), Lawan Tahir (General Manager, Finance), Chris Esedebe (General Manager, Claims and Compensation), Olodotun Adegbite (Deputy General Manager, Investment and Treasury Management), and Emmanuel Sike (Deputy General Manager, Finance and Accounts).
Also affected by the suspension are Olutoyin Arokoyo (Deputy General Manager/Acting Head, Legal), Dorathy Tukura (Deputy General Manager, Administration), and Victoria Ayantuga (Assistant General Manager, Internal Audit).
According to the statement, their suspension from office arose from the preliminarily established prima facie infractions on the extant Financial Regulations and Procurement Act, and other acts of gross misconduct.
It said, “During the period of their suspension, the suspended officers are to 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.
“The affected officers have also been directed to hand over to the most senior officers in their respective departments.
“The Executive Directors are, therefore, to hand over to the most senior general managers, while the managing director will hand over to the most senior officer in the Fund.”
Thereafter, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, directed the Regional General Manager in charge of the Ibadan Region, Temitope Akinwale, to 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.
He also asked the Regional General Manager in charge of Port Harcourt Region, Maureen Allagoa, to move 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.
Ngige also directed the General Manager of Administration and Maintenance, Baba Kabir, to move to the Enforcement Department while concurrently overseeing the office of the Executive Director of Operations in an acting capacity.
He asked the General Manager of the Health, Safety and Environment Department, Dr Kelly Nwagha, to assume the position of acting Managing Director/Chief Executive, as the most senior General Manager in the Fund.
“All the appointments are with effect from Monday, July 6, 2020, and will last until further notice.
“The Honourable Minister has also charged the Chairman of the Board, Mr Austin Isire, FCA; FCII; 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,” the statement added.