The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) claims that termites destroyed paperwork used to support the agency’s present and previous management’s expenditure of N17.158 billion.
iexclusivenews reports that the managing director of NSITF, Michael Akabogu, stated during his testimony before the Senate committee investigating the organization for financial misconduct that rain might have potentially ruined the records.
He said that the container in which the documents were stored had been left in a remote location of the agency’s Abuja headquarters.
“The container where the said documents were kept by past management has not only been beaten by rains over the years but even possibly been eaten up by termites”, he told the panel.
Prior to holding them accountable, the Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC), led by Senator Matthew Urhoghide (Edo South), had called NSITF’s present and previous management to question them about the transfer of the N17.158 billion.
The committee, lead by Mr. Urhoghide, claimed to have learned that the agency’s administration had neglected to present pertinent paperwork to support the alleged expenditures between January and December 2013.
The NSITF boss nevertheless informed the committee that he informed the agency’s prior management officers to assist in providing the required documentation to answer the question.
The Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation raised a concern in its 2018 audit report, prompting the committee to launch its investigation.
The agency transferred a total of N17.158 billion between January and December 2013 from its Skye and First Bank accounts into several anonymous accounts held by people and businesses, according to the office.
“Management of NSITF, as shown in statements of account number 1750011691 with Skye Bank Plc, for the period January 1, 2013, to December 20 2013, and statements of account number 2001754610 with First Bank Plc for the period January 7, 2013, to February 28, 2013, transferred amounts totalling N17,158,883,034.69 to some persons and companies from these accounts. However, payment vouchers relating to the transfers, together with their supporting documents, were not provided for audit. Consequently, the purpose(s) for the transfers could not be authenticated,” the query said
50 separate questions regarding the alleged theft of funds against the agency were raised in the audit report.
Umar Munir Abubakar, the managing director of NSITF from 2010 to 2016, was reportedly aware of the question but offered no explanations because the audit exercise was not conducted during his term.
From May 2017 to July 2020, his successor, Adebayo Somefun, allegedly urged that those working in the agency’s account section should be allowed to track the documents.
Both former and current NSITF management members were requested to make a second appearance before the panel by September 22 with all required transactional evidence.
An employee of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) in Makurdi, Benue, accused a “unidentified spiritual snake” of breaking into the agency’s accounts office and stealing N36 million from scratch card sales in 2018.
Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa-APC), a Nigerian senator, was ousted from his position as chairman of the Northern Senators Forum in the same year after alleging that monkeys stole N70 million from the organization.
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