The organised labour has variously condemned and announced its resolve to embark on a nation-wide strike action to bring to book those who are enjoying the status of sacred cows but are behind over N30Billion fraud allegedly perpetuated by the last Board of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and some Management officers of the Fund. This is a major cause of concern as it spells terrible bad omen for the senior citizens of the country at retirement, having meritoriously served their father land with the vigour of their youths.
We do not only support the intended strike of Labour but equally call for mass action against what appears as a systemic ploy to sweep this weighty scam allegation under the carpet. We note with apprehension that this fraud came into the public domain through activities of a whistleblower and the EFCC has since arranged the Managing Director, Umar Abubakar and some former Board members and Management staff for diverting money from the Funds account into private purse between 2012 and 2015 which included the N18Billion Grant given by the Federal Government to NSITF.
The Centre, while applauding the reconstitution and inauguration of the NSITF Board under the Chairmanship of Chief Frank Kokori by the Minister of Labour and Productivity , Dr. Chris Ngige following the directives of Mr. President, demands that all administrative panels and on-going prosecutions of culprits by anti-corruption agencies must not be in any way compromised. We are apt to observe that it is rather tragic the resources at the disposal of the NSITF which were supposed to be invested in long term social infrastructures were shamelessly looted and plundered by a powerful cabal. It is instructively to note that this heinous pillage was committed under the watchful eyes of even the organised labour and other social partners like the organised private sectors and stakeholders who are all statutory members of the Funds. No doubt there is a dire need for re-examination of the composition of the NSITF Board as established by the enabling Act.
Our main concern however, is that no sane thinking and responsible citizen or society would take with care free attitudes the wellbeing of its retired and pension citizens. The NSITF was established essentially to take care of the needs of these vulnerable elder citizens at retirement. It is an saving-insurance for their future. If we all allow this Fund to be pillaged and endanger the future of our senior citizens , we would be embedding a vicious culture of every man for himself, God for us all. This would invariably continue to threaten the social stability, good governance, transparency and accountability in public office. Every serving elected or and appointed workers would see a blink future except by self-help into the public tilt.
With the antecedent of Chief Frank Kokori as a social crusader, we know that heavy burden lies on his shoulders to ensure that all those fingered in the massive looting of NSITF are brought to book without fearing whose ox is gored. We pledged our unalloyed support in this respect.
Media Coordinator, CACOL