Mrs Ngozi Olejeme, Chairman Management Board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF)

REVEALED! How Olejeme Plundered NSITF to Fund Delta Governorship Ambition PART 2

In Part 1 of this report, we chronicled how Mrs Ngozi Olejeme, the Chairman of the Boards of the long-suffering the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and Pension Trust Fund and board member of Subsidy Re-investment programme (SURE-P), lavished over <a title=”REVEALED! How Olejeme Plundered NSITF to Fund Delta Governorship Ambition” href=”http://xclusive.ie/revealed-how-olejeme-plundered-nsitf-to-fund-delta-governorship-ambition/” target=”_blank”>N2billion to fund her campaign for the 2015 Delta State Gubernatorial primary and also for personal investment into properties and luxurious lifestyle, leaving the NSITF in comatose.

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We established that a huge percentage of that money was fleeced from desperate and unwary job seekers in a massive official scam recruitment process and the contributions from contributions of hard-working Nigerians, as every Nigerian worker is required to pay a stipulated amount into NSITF on a monthly basis, being contributions “against the contingencies of retirement, pension, death, invalidity and emigration” and “against the contingency of employment injury.”

Conflict of Interest and Cronyism
The wonder then is how one individual could dip her hand in and out of the NSIFT’s till while other Board members watched without batting eyelids or raising an alarm. The answer to that is that Mrs Olejeme runs the affairs of NSITF and TRUST FUND from her house in Maitama like a family business and surrounds herself with cronies and relatives.

The MD and three executive directors to run the scheme were stripped of their executive management functions and in their place Olejeme put a serving police officer, Mr. Mike Ogbe, who is given the power to ‘fire and hire.’ Mr. Ogbe’s wife, Catherine Ogbe, is the head of the ICT Department in NSITF at the Head office, Abuja.

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Weight Obuah, who is the Executive Director of Operations, Head Office Abuja, is Olejeme’s brother-in-law and the immediate younger brother of the C.S.O to the President, Gordon Obuah. The Area 11 branch Office of NSITF is headed by Edna Stow, the Principal Manager, FCT Branch. And Mrs Stow is Weight Obuah’s wife.

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Having surrounded herself with relatives and cronies, it is not surprising that Olejeme embarks on an unrestrained financial recklessness and feeding her appetite for expensive holidays, palace-like mansions and exotic cars with impunity

Workers’ Welfare
Such luxurious lifestyle is at variance with the poor working condition and welfare of the NSITF staff. NSITF’s motto, which is committed to workers’ welfare, is grossly abused. Staff members are denied of their allowances, while the management has created an environment not conducive for them.

A visit to any office of the NSITF by our correspondent reveals that there are no seats for staff and visitors. NSITF have no pool vehicles for enforcement drive in the branches of NSITF nationwide. For over a year workers are compelled to contribute money for enforcement drive, and major facilities and fittings in different NSITF and TRUST FUND offices are dilapidated and sorry condition.

“No air conditioner, or chair to seat, people are packed like sardines in dark and poorly ventilated offices. NSITF offices are basically run by contribution from the staff as management has refused to fund the administration of the scheme,” a source close to the NSITF board told Xclusive Magazine.

Our reliable source further reveals that with a monthly income average of 3 billion naira, NSITF cannot pay salaries and allowances regularly. 7 billion naira was expended on the computerization programme for NSITF and each of its branches cannot boast of at least 10 computers, stationery and office photocopiers, and in some offices of NSITF, staff pay for diesel.

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We gathered on good authority that in a popular branch in the north, staff brought chairs from home to sit and were required to draw up cleaning roaster for each staff, as the office had no cleaner. They also bought a small generator to power the office fan. Also, Management has not remitted staff pensions to their PFA, or taxes deducted from their salaries for over 14 months.

Another credible source told Xclusive Magazine that staffers are regularly turned back at the hospital because they have not paid the health insurance scheme. And that recently a staff lost his only child because treatment was not given as management did not pay the required fees to the HMO which is a sister company of the fund.

Conclusion
Olejeme was appointed chairman of NSITF Board in June 2009 by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. The Act that established the Board stipulates that Board members including the chairman should serve for a period of three years and can be re-appointed for another period of three years, and no more. Olejeme would have served full 6-year term this June. So no amount of lobbying will see her staying beyond June, bringing to an end 6 years of waste, profligacy and gross mismanagement.

One of the major tasks facing President Muhammadu Buhari is not to let Olejeme go without proper accounting of her tenure. The NSITF and Pension funds were audited back in 2013. As a matter of utmost importance and urgency, a forensic audit is required now.

***Additional information from Peter Anny-Nzekwue, and other media sources.

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