From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and her counterpart in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, to appear before it, today, and explain alleged non-remittance of contributions by the three tiers of government and their agencies into the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) from 2010 to date.
Also summoned in respect of the NSITF contributions are the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige.
Chairman, Ad-hoc Committee investigating alleged non-remittance of NSITF contributions, Chukwuka Onyema issued the summons, yesterday, at the panel’s inaugural sitting.
Onyema also gave the NSITF 24 hours to provide the committee with the details of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs) that have paid their contributions and those yet to do so; so as to aid the committee in its investigation.
The lawmaker reminded government at all levels that failure to register with the NSITF and pay the statutory contribution amounts to a violation of the law.
Speaking earlier, NSITF Director, Mr Adebayo Somefun sought the intervention of the National Assembly in ensuring that states and MDAs at the federal level register and contribute to the Employees’ Compensation Scheme (ECS) under the NSITF.
He said section 33 of the Employee’s Compensation Act (ECA) provides that every employer shall, within the first two years of the commencement of the Act, make a minimum monthly contribution of 1.0 per cent of the total payroll into the fund.
He added that “since inception, only three states have registered with the scheme.
“Bauchi, Taraba and Gombe have registered with the scheme but yet to commence contributions.
“The remaining states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have not yet registered.
“It becomes imperative to ensure that the 36 states and the FCT, as well as all the 774 local governments and other companies not registered, to comply with the ECA 2010 by registering with the NSITF.
“Since 2010 till date, the Federal Government owes N17 billion to the fund.
“They should register so that their employees can benefit from the compensation when the occasion arises.”