Simon Lalong, Minister of Labour and Employment, says he has set up a committee to probe alleged complaints by staff against the management of Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).
Lalong disclosed this during a familiarisation visit to the fund on Tuesday in Abuja.
The minister was accompanied by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mrs Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, and other top directors in the ministry.
Lalong said the visit was to look at some of the complaints filed by staff against the management and to also address them holistically.
According to him, there are a lot of complaints in the ministry lodged against the fund and some of them are internal and external petitions.
“We saw complaints of refunds of money paid and refunded; we had complaints of unfair administrative practices and also irregular promotions.
“We had complaints of lack of vacancies and stagnation of staff; court cases regarding the disengagement of certain staff and disharmony between in-house union and the fund.
“Staff grievances of irregularities of grade levels, mass employment of persons to fill up vacancies in the fund and staff condition of service.’’
He also noted that the ministry received complaints of disharmony among management staff and insubordination of staff of the fund among others.
Lalong added that, as a way forward, he had set up a committee that would be inaugurated on Wednesday.
According to him, the committee will investigate the issues so that they can be resolved as soon as possible.
“This is meant to improve your services and not to witch hunt anybody but to add value to the ministry as a lot is expected from us and our agencies,“ he said.
Earlier, Mrs Maureen Allagoa, Managing Director of NSITF, while commending the ministers for their visit, highlighted the challenges facing the fund.
“A prominent challenge that has occurred in 2022 with a threat to reoccur in 2023 is the implementation of the deduction of 40 per cent of the employers’ contribution to the Fund by the Ministry of Finance.
“N1.4 billion was deducted and paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) in line with the Finance Act 2020.
“There is also the challenge of the limitations of the Employees Compensation Act(EAC) 2010 in that it does not cover some situations.
“Especially in the areas of claims and compensation and the informal sector.
“These existing gaps in the law have variously been exploited by dubious employers to the detriment of employees,” she said.
Allagoa added that there was a need for an amendment of the Act to close up these gaps among other challenges.
She also noted that the fund had developed a strategic plan with 50 strategic objectives that drives a new direction of the new NSITF.
The managing director added that the strategic plan already approved by the board and the ministry had keyed into the agenda of the current administration.