In fulfillment of his commitment to look into matters brought to him relating the operations of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Minister of Labour and Employment Simon Bako Lalong has inaugurated a fact-finding committee to investigate the issues and report back to him in 2 weeks.
While inaugurating the committee, the Minister said the Government recognises the important role that the NSITF plays in the social security of workers and will therefore address all the challenges that seek to militate against the performance of the organisation.
He said President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda has a robust plan to enhance the welfare of the Nigerian worker which requires that an agency such as the NSITF must perform at its ultimal capacity.
Lalong said the terms of reference for the committee include the investigation of alleged irregularities in execution of contracts worth 1.8 billion naira; self-payment of gratuities to MD/CE while in service; non release of promotions; irregular Employments; among others which constituted the various pettitons sent to his office.
He urged the members to carry out the assignment without fear or favour, affection or ill-will as well as resist any attempt to intimidate, harrass or influence them.
He gave them 2 weeks to submit their report.
Earlier in her remarks, the Director of Administration Ministry of Labour and Employment Mrs. Mabel Erastus who stood in for the acting Permanent Secretary said the membership of the committee is drawn from various Directorates of the Ministry.
While responding, Chairman of the Committee and Director Finance and Accounts Mr. Isaac Okehe promised that they will do their best to deliver on the national assignment.
Also at the Ministry today, the Minister received members of the Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Healthcare Professionals (JOHESU) who paid him a courtesy visit.
President of JOHESU said they were in the Ministry to formally congratulate the Minister and solicit his support and understanding towards actualizing several issues that have been approved but still pending implementation.
One of the major issues he said was salary adjustment for health workers under the Conmess which has not been implemented for over 10 years since it was approved.
He called on the Minister as the Chief Concialliator to invoke an immediate action by the Presidential Committee on Salaries which has the power to push for its implementation.
He assured the minister that JOHESU was not interested in using strikes to achieve its aims but believes in industrial harmony and negotiations.
The Minister of Labour and Employment Simon Bako Lalong appreciated their visit and assured them that everything will be done to see that the matter is resolved amicably.
He directed an immediate conciliatory meeting by the Department of Trade Union Services which commenced immediately after the visit.