Labour workers held a protest on Monday in Abuja against the Minister of Labour , Dr Chris Ngige, following his refusal to inaugurate Frank Kokori as the Chairman of the National Social Insurance Trust Fund.
The Presidency had said Mr . Austin Enejamo – Isire was the authentic chairman of the Board of Directors, NSITF , and would be inaugurated at Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa , Abuja , on Monday .
But the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayula Wabba, told workers during the protest that corruption could not be fought if the government was “ allergic ” to putting people of integrity in positions of influence .
Wabba said , “ The issue of whether Kokori was appointed or not needs to be put into context . The fact of the matter is that everybody in Nigeria is aware that there was a committee that constituted the board of over 500 parastatals.
“ Those boards were constituted at the same time in 2017 . We have insisted that the board of the National Social Insurance Trust Fund be constituted . All the other boards were inaugurated but this board , which is a labour market institution , was not inaugurated.
“ The argument therefore is , why should somebody be managing our funds as a sole administrator? Let me also correct the lies: the funds are not government money . They are funds for workers .”
According to him , the government only contributes part for its own employees .
The NLC president added , “ I was told that , in the past four years, the government has contributed no more than N 500bn . But what is being budgeted with the funds of this organisation on a monthly basis is even more than N 500 bn .
“ Various employers of labour , importantly the organised private sector , contribute money on a monthly basis , for the social security cover of their workers . So, how can somebody say that it ’ s government money ? People have also mentioned the issue of corruption in that place ( NSITF) .
Yes, there has been monumental corruption , regime after regime , and who are the perpetrators ? They are appointees of the government . It is on the record that it was only when Adams ( Oshiomhole ) was appointed as the chairman of the place that there was no corruption .
“ After Adams , we know how ( Enuora ) Okoli left the place . We know how the former chairperson left the place . Even the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Labour , being the representative of the Minister of Labour , was involved in the corruption .”