The Federal Government has ordered the screening of the academic and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificates of staff of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).
Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, gave the order during the inauguration of the newly reconstituted board of the Fund on Wednesday in Abuja.
Ngige said that the screening of the academic qualifications of the staff of the Fund was imperative to avoid falsification of certificates.
It would be recalled that the former NSITF Managing Director, Mr Michael Akabogu, was recently sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari over alleged forged NYSC certificate.
He noted that the Fund had consistently been in the news for the wrong reasons.
According to the minister, in order to maintain, protect and promote a viable and thriving organisation, I have four major tasks before the new board.
“Within the next eight weeks, you have to screen NYSC and 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,‘’ he said.
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.
He said this would enable maximum the collection of employees contributions from public and private sectors, as well as move into the informal sector of the economy.
The minister also charged the board to intensify its operational drive in the public sector, which is within the dimension of the formal economy.
He added that this would ensure that national and sub-national government and 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.
On the restructuring of NSITF, he recalled that Mr President had approved the implementation of the Restructuring Report, which the previous board could not conclude.
He however directed the new board to ensure the full implementation of the report.
On E-NSITF, Ngige noted that the platform would enable employers to make payments from the comfort of their offices while NSITF monitors from its own offices, hence, promoting transparency and accountability in the Fund.
He urged the new board to ensure that employers in the public and private sectors key into the provisions of Employee Compensation Act 2010.
He therefore appealed to employers of labour in the nation to eschew subjectivity and key into the ECA 2010, and all its benefits to the workplace occupational safety and health.
He explained that the Act is a national law which drew from the provisions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No. 102, and replaced the old Workmen Compensation Act.
He urged employers to consistently make their statutory contributions to the fund for the security of their workers and aid nationally in the promotion of the decent work agenda.
Responding, Mr Emmanuel Nwosu, the Chairman of the Board, commended 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.
“I want to assure you that we shall leave no stone unturned to deliver on the mandate of the Fund,‘’ he said.
Also, Mrs Maureen Allagoa, the new Managing Director, said that the board will endeavour to do the right things for the development of the Fund. (NAN)