The Senate Committee on Public Accounts has slammed the management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) over alleged misappropriation of N17.158bn.
NSITF’s past and current management staff appeared before the committee on Friday to defend queries raised against the agency in the 2018 audit report.
The audit report said N17.158bn was allegedly transferred by NSITF from its Skye and First Bank accounts into various accounts belonging to individuals and companies from January to December 2013.
“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. These are in violation of financial rule,” the report said.
But neither of the past and present management staff of the agency could provide satisfactory explanations on the expenditure.
Those at the helm of affairs in 2013 told the committee that documents like vouchers were left behind by them; while the present Managing Director of NSITF, Michael Akabogu, said there were no such documents in their custody.
“The container the said documents were kept by past management has not only been beating by rains over the years but even possibly being eaten up by termites.
“As directed by this committee, I told the past management officers on the need for them to help us out in answering this query with necessary documents which have not been made available for us,” Akabogu said.
However, in his submissions, the Managing Director of NSITF from 2010 to 2016, Umar Munir Abubakar, said he was unaware of the query and have no explanations for it since the audit was not carried out during his tenure.
But his successor, Adebayo Somefun, who was the head of the agency from May 2017 to July 2020, said those in the account section should be able to trace the documents which the current General Manager, Finance, alleged to have been locked up in an abandoned container within the premises of the NSITF office in Abuja.
Members of the committee slammed the officials over their failure to justify the spending with documentary evidence and ordered them to re-appear on September 22 with required documents.