The federal government has given the newly management board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) eight weeks to fish out staff of the fund with fake academic credentials and National Youth Service Corps Certificate.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, gave the order in Abuja, at the inauguration of the board. He said the decision is in a bid to ascertain the authenticity of the staff certificates and also to redeem the image of the commission following certificate forgery of the immediate Managing Director of the fund.
Ngige also charged the new board to ensure the full implementation of the NSITF Restructuring Report and conclusion of Electronic NSITF (E-NSITF) Phases I and II, to enable maximum collection of contributions from public and private sectors, as well as move into the informal sector of the economy.
The Minister called for the intensification of operational drive in the public sector, which is within the dimension of the formal economy, to ensure that national and sub-national governments (states) move towards universal coverage to all the workers in Nigeria.
He mandated the new board to do their possible best to build a new NSITF, noted for accountability, transparency and other principles characteristic of good governance.
Ngige expressed optimism that with the new board, the era of the media feasting on NSITF activities was over.
Ngige said, “Within the next eight weeks, you have to screen NYSC and academic certificates of all staff of the Fund. I have cause to say so. When I see letters written by staff, including people in management positions, I start wondering if they obtained General Certificate of Education (GCE).
“You should screen out impostors with fake educational and NYSC certificates.”
In his response, the new Chairman of the Board, Mr. Emmanuel Nwosu, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for giving them the opportunity to contribute to the growth of the country.
Nwosu said he recognised the essence of NSITF to cater for various aspects of social security, including protection of the world of work.
He said that he and his team would ensure that those with forged academic credentials are not only weeded out, but would ensure that the fund is given a positive identity.
On her part, the new Managing Director of the fund, Mrs Maureen Allagoa, said she would do everything possible to ensure that there is accountability in the fund which has been reportedly lacking in the past.
It could be recalled that, the immediate boss of NSITF, Michael Akabogu was recently sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari, following a certificate forgery saga.