The Senate and House of Representatives Joint committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity, has summoned the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige, over skewed employment at the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).
The joint committee has alleged impunity, gross misconduct and abuse of office by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige.
In a resolution reached during a meeting with NSITF management, the Committee urged that the employment exercise undertaken by the ministry between July and September this year be cancelled.
Also summoned to next Tuesday’s meeting at the National Assembly were the Chairman of the Federal Character Commission, Shettima Bukar-Abba and Managing Director of NSITF, Umar Munir Abubakar.
Chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Suleiman Nazif, while lamenting the skewed employment allegedly overseen by Ngige, noted that same was in violation of the federal character principle.
He said: “Employment is of paramount important and the committee would ensure that employment is done in a manner to reflect the principles of federal character. I think there’s something going on in NSITF that no one is willing to talk about. It is clear that the Minister, Chris Ngige, is responsible for this irregularities, impunity and anomalies, resulting in gross abuse of his office, and we’ll take action on it.
The Lawmaker from Bauchi also urged the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the development, which he said was intended to indict the committee.
According to the lawmaker, the minister’s state, Anambra, had 44 slots out of the 131 available, with some states such as Katsina and Kwara getting 1 and none, respectively.
“We want you Senator Ita Enang to inform the President about it, because he’s trying to put this committee in trouble. Anambra has 45, while other state have 2 or even 1,” he said.
In his response, Senator Ita Enang assured the committee of the presidency’s readiness to address the issue of lopsidedness in employment in government parastatals and agencies, adding that the federal character principle will be strictly complied with in the process of so doing.
“Let me just say that I just received this document this morning. I will relate back with the executive on this, and we will speak with the committee, and make a representation, and where we’ve gone wrong we will address it
“Federal character is compulsory, and we’ll address it. I apologize it has to come to this level before we address it. I’ve listened to the hard sentiments lawfully expressed and therefore apologize,” Enang said.