Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has shunned the directive by National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole that his ministry should inaugurate boards or face disciplinary action by the party.
Oshiomhole gave the directive, shortly after his inauguration as the APC’s national chairman.
He said the national Chairman has interest in the matter having served as chairman of NSITF, adding that even so, he wouldn’t accede to his directive to inaugurate the boards of agencies under his ministry.
He stated this in a letter to Oshiomhole, noting he would only take directive given by President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the head of the government.
Ngige noted that out of the four parastatals under his ministry, three boards are currently operational, and the only agency left out was the NSITF, which before the directive, was engulfed in about N48 billion corruption allegation comprising federal government and employers’ contributions to the employees’ compensation fund plus some non-remitted PAYE taxes, stressing that the money was embezzled.
A matter he said was being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He said: “Our National Chairman, I am in receipt of a letter referenced APC/NHDQ/GEN-S/28/018/003 dated July 11, 2018, which was sent from your Office and received by me on July 12, 2018.
“Ordinarily I would not believe the letter was from you except for the barrage of media statements that came before I saw the letter. I read the contents of this letter with both amazement and utter disbelief.
“Firstly, it is not true that I did refuse/neglect to inaugurate members of the re-constituted boards of parastatals and agencies under the supervision of my ministry as alleged in your letter.
The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment has four parastatals namely – the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), National Directorate of Employment (NDE), National Productivity Centre (NPC), and Michael Imoudu Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS).
Boards of the latter three agencies have been re-constituted and members were inaugurated on March 8, 2018, in conformity with a presidential directive.
“I am sorry that I will be unable to accede to your ‘directives’ to inaugurate all the boards within one week as the ministry had already inaugurated the aforementioned three boards but will in this case of the NSITF adhere to the work plan on the NSITF as approved by the president who is the head of the government of the Federation’’.