Workers of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) have exposed massive corrupt practices and fraudulent activities under the watch of Hon. Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, Workers in a protest meeting which was organized by The Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance, and Financial Institutions accused the management of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund of exploitative tax deductions and frustrating the upward review of workers salary.
In a protest letter sent to OBSERVERSTIMES, the NSITF employees feel stifled and unable to progress at a job for long.
They are also lamenting 18 months of non-remittance of pensions to their Retirement Savings Account.
The President of the worker’s association, Balla Tijani, made the allegations during their congress meeting held in Abuja.
The meeting was held by the NSITF Domestic Unit to address three key issues of inexplicable tax deductions; salary review and balance of consequential adjustments.
OBSERVERSTIMES recall similar protest in August this year, a staff who speaks on condition of anonymity
alleged that there were plots by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, in collaboration with the management of the fund to shortchange them.
One of the members of staff, who described the development as “dubious and fraudulent tax deductions”, said that over 5,000 staff would be ripped off billions of naira.
He said the management led by the Managing Director (MD), Dr Michael Akabogu, had concluded plans to deduct between N200,000 and N500,000 from each staff; depending on their level.
He further said, “NSITF’s management has promised to resume the deductions of the fraudulent taxes from our salaries for the next 12 months; starting from August, 2022.
“We received a memo early this year informing us that the minimum wage arrears will be paid in three tranches.”
Another aggrieved workers also accused the management of defying the Salaries and Wages Commission which directed all agencies that have not implemented the minimum wage to do so.
He said, “Apart from the illegal deductions, the majority of our colleagues working with the fund have not begun to receive the new minimum wage because the management has refused to pay.”
The NSITF is a Federal Government agency that provides compensation to insured employees who suffer from occupational hazard or sustain injuries from accident at the workplace or in the course of employment.
Tijani while addressing members of the association alleged that despite the commitment of members of staff, many of them are suffering untold hardship due to poor welfare.
Tijani said, “The bottom line of the issue at hand has to do with issues of salary review which is long overdue, the issue of our consequential adjustment, and the issue of our retirement savings.”
But the President said the association has not reached an agreement with the management on the issue of consequential.
The Vice President of the association, Dare Solomon said concerning staff welfare, the management has not been up to their responsibility.
Solomon said, “As a result of that, we have to change that narrative. On the issue of our salary review, a committee has been put in place to see the minister on Tuesday, but we appeal to him that our salary has not been reviewed for the past nine years.”
He said the association anticipates that “by January next year, we have to start our salary review. But until now, we have not had the approval so that come January we will have a new salary review.”
Solomon noted that the issue of the Retirement Savings Account was resolved with the management, adding that this was to be remitted monthly or every two months.
One of the senior staffs who has been suffering stagnation for years accused a