The Managing Director and Chief Executive of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Mrs Maureen Allagoa, against global best practices and extant rules of NSITF, has approved and paid herself N47 million naira as gratuity while still in office.
Our investigation revealed that Mrs Allagoa approved and paid herself the N47m gratuity through an internal memo with a Reference Number: NSITF/AC/I&A/5/S.4/B117 dated 3rd July 2023, from PM, Audit & Inspectorate, routed through AGM, Head, Audit & Inspectorate to the DGM, Head, Audit & Inspectorate.
In the memo titled; “RE: Gratuity Computation for Mrs Maureen Allagoa- (Aa/11272) for the period of service from September 2016 to February 2023 as General Manager and Executive Director respectively;” the MD approved and paid herself gratuity for the period she served as General Manager and Executive Director, a development that has created tension amongst the management and staff of the agency, with many asking questions on how the computation of this amount was done.
Others question the timing of the payments of this gratuity considering the fact that Fund is struggling financially.
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Further investigation revealed that the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Daju Kachallom is allegedly playing out the script of her former boss, Dr Chris Ngige who though has left the government, still controls Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund through Maureen Allagoa, the current Managing Director, GM Procurement Mr Akin, his procurement director who he re-engaged from retirement to do his dirty job.
A source in the Audit office who spoke to us in confidence queried the rationale of re-engaging people who are retired from active service in NSITF by the former Minister Dr. Chris Ngige; “sadly too, the Managing Director, Mrs. Allagoa, Executive Management, and Board Secretary didn’t see the reason to question such action that is in sharp contrast with labour laws, instead all they are interested in is paying themselves gratuity while still in service”.
“How do you go to people’s private houses and marketplaces and then bring them to NSITF and then employ them as AGM, DGM, and GM without regard for the conditions of service and other extant laws, isn’t that sickening?
Recall that the former minister, Dr. Chris Ngige tried by all means to shield the former Managing Director of the Agency, Dr. Michael Akabuogu, another of his stooges even with overwhelming cases of corruption and incompetence against him, until he was sacked by Former President Muhammadu Buhari over incompetence and NYSC certificate forgery.
Reacting to the development, one of the union leaders who spoke to us anonymously, confirmed the rot in the agency since the time of Barr. Somefun, Dr. Michael Akabuogu, and the current MD, Mrs. Maureen Allagoa said; “How can you explain NSITF being robbed of billions of naira through mindless contracts under the supervision of the Permanent Secretary of Labour, thereby wasting NSITF resources?
“Is it not strange that the MD paid herself 47 million nairas as gratuity while still in office? And in other establishments, there are embargos on contract awards and payment but not so in NSITF because the current leadership seem to be enjoying immunity from a higher power.”
“NSITF must be rescued from the mindless grip of this current management Exco who are still taking instruction and reporting to Dr. Chris Ngige. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu should come to the aid of this organisation before it collapses. Our union leaders are daily blackmailed because the presidency is been kept in the dark about this mind-blowing fraud in the Fund.
“The Permanent Secretary should protect the interest of over 5000 staff of the organisation not the greed of former Minister of Labour, who is hellbent on killing NSITF.
“Tell management to stop harassing our union leaders. We need to protect our means of livelihood, that is the reason for this outcry.” “Let NSITF Breathe, Don’t Kill It”, he added.