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Labour minister, Ngige bars NECA’s acting President from NSITF board meetings

The acting President of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi has been barred by the Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige from further participating in board meetings of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

It was also learnt that the Labour minister, Ngige also disallowed Adeniyi’s contributions in past board meetings of NSITF on the grounds that he lacked the legitimacy to do so.

The position of the Labour minister was conveyed in a letter addressed to NECA’s Director General, Timothy Olawale, and dated July 9, 2020.

Speaking on the development, the NECA’ director general said he had not received an official communication from the minister on the suspension of one of its representatives on NSITF board.

He said: “We cannot comment until we have been formally informed officially. What you are telling me now is news. I will respond when I receive the official communication.”

In a statement by his media aide, Emmanuel Nzomiwu, the minister noted that by virtue of the NSITF Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, NECA is accorded two slots for institutional representation on the board of the agency.

He recalled that when the board was inaugurated in May 2019, NECA had two members, namely: Olawale Timothy and Dr Mohammed I. Yinusa (NECA then President), who is now late.

The minister said his attention was drawn to the development through the recent transcript and extant proceedings submitted to his office by the ministry’s representative on the agency’s board on the replacement of the late President by Adeniyi, who is NECA’s acting President.

The statement said: “In that regard, you will recall that membership on the board of NSITF has preconditions of security screening and documentation by the Department of State Security (DSS) and subsequent approval by Mr President, which other members had undergone before the inauguration of the board on May 18, 2019.

“This exercise became imperative after the orgy of looting by some members of the last board in collusion with some top management officials of NSITF. So, even though you communicated to the ministry the demise of the former President, the issue of his replacement on the NSITF board has to follow due process.

“As the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, I did not convey a Presidential approval for the replacement of the late Dr. Mohammed I. Yinusa on the Board and I understand that the NECA Acting President has been attending NSITF Board meetings and even heading a Board Committee without the legitimacy of having been cleared by the DSS and approval of Mr President in order to become a legitimate NSITF board member…”

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