The Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on the investigation of non-remittance of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) contributions, Hon. Chukwuma Onyema, on Monday summoned the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, and the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Ahmed Idris, to appear before it unfailingly today to clarify the circumstances surrounding the non-remittances and by extension non-compliance with the Employee Compensation Act 2010 on one percent contribution by employers to the NSITF Fund.
Also summoned to appear before it is the Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze.
Speaking at a one-day investigative hearing on the non remittance of the NSITF contributions by the federal, states and local governments and other related matters, Onyema said the committee needed “very serious” details from the relevant agencies in order to get to the root cause of the problem.
He insisted that all the agencies summoned must appear today.
The National Assembly is also expected to adjourn for the Christmas break after today’s plenary.
The investigation was pursuant to a motion on the floor of the House on the “Need for investigation of non Remittance of contributions by the federal government, state governments and local governments into the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) from 2010 to Date”.
The lower House had then passed resolution setting up the ad-hoc committee with a clear mandate to investigate the said allegations and report back for further legislative action.
Nonetheless, Director General, NSITF, Mr. Adebayo Shomefun, told the committee that the federal government alone had not remitted the sum of N17 billion to the fund, though there are further indications that the figure may be higher.
He said some states and local government employees as well as agencies including the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) are yet to be registered with the fund, a situation which further blurred the actual amount being owed it.
Also, speaking at the hearing, Ngige, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Bolaji Adebiyi, said consultations were ongoing with Adeosun on the possibility of paying up the debts by the end of the year.
“Before the end of the year, sometime will happen,” he assured lawmakers.
It further emerged that the Nigeria Police Force may have lost about 3,000 personnel at the peak of the insurgency in the country in 2013.