Critical Times News : APC CRISIS: I can't obey your order — Ngige fires back at Oshiomhole

Published by / 23 Jul 2018 / No comments / ,

APC CRISIS: I can't obey your order — Ngige fires back at Oshiomhole


The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has told the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, that he cannot comply with his deadline on board inauguration because it counters the position of the Presidency on the matter.

Ngige expressed shocked at Oshiomhole’s directive to him to inaugurate members of the re-constituted Boards of parastatals and agencies under his ministry within one week.

In a letter he sent to Oshiomhole dated July 17, 2018 with reference number ML.HMO/LAB/126/III/208, which the minister made available to newsmen on Sunday in Abuja, he stated that he cannot flaunt a presidential order to please Oshiomhole’s personal interest in a matter he knew nothing about.

Ngige said that contrary to Oshiomhole’s claims, three of the four agencies under the ministry had their boards reconstituted since March this year, leaving only the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) which was enmeshed in a N48 billion scandal.

He said; “Our National Chairman, I am in receipt of a letter referenced APC/NHDQ/GEN-S/28/018/003 dated July 11, 2018, which was sent from your office and received by me on July 12, 2018. Ordinarily, I would not believe the letter was from you except for the barrage of media statements that came before I saw the letter. I read the contents of this letter with both amazement and utter disbelief.

“First, it is not true that I did refuse/neglect to inaugurate members of the re-constituted boards of parastatals and agencies under the supervision of my ministry as alleged in your letter. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment has four parastatals namely – the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), the National Productivity Centre (NPC), and Michael Imoudu Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS).

The boards of the latter three agencies have been re-constituted and members were inaugurated on March 8, 2018, in conformity with a presidential directive. All the three boards are currently operational. The only agency left out was the NSITF which before the directive, had been enmeshed with major issues of corruption involving about N48billion comprising Federal Government and employers’ contributions to the Employees’ Compensation Fund plus some non-remitted Pay as You Earn (PAYE) taxes, which were carted away through well perfected sleaze operation.

“This resulted in the agency coming under the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) investigation/prosecution of members of the former board and some of her serving officials.

“An Administrative and Financial Panel of Enquiry was instituted with a presidential approval as a follow up to the criminal investigations. This was followed by the House of Representatives’ Committee on Labour and Employment probe in March 2018 which is still ongoing, and also in situ.
“Comrade National Chairman, you are aware of this situation and you had broached this issue with me during your campaign period when I visited your campaign office. Due to the fact that a lot of the information available to me as the minister are classified, I had told you that I will brief you latter and at our last meeting during a function on Saturday, July 7, 2018, I had sought for an appointment for the next day so I could brief you on the situation.

“I am not oblivious of the fact that you are a very interested party in the matter because having served as chairman of the NSITF Board before the last board and as a former Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President, you would be interested in the tripartite coloration of the board being maintained more so as Labour still remains your base constituency.

“Mr. Chairman, a lot of the classified information from the EFCC, the Auditor-General of the Federation’s spot check report for an organisation with an account that has not been audited for five years (2013-2017) are not within your purview. In view of all these damaging reports, I had a presidential permission not to inaugurate this particular board at the time we did the others.

“I am sorry that I will be unable to accede to your directive to inaugurate all the boards within one week as the ministry had already inaugurated the aforementioned three boards but will in this case of the NSITF adhere to the work plan on the NSITF as approved by Mr. President who is the Head of the Government of the Federation. Based on this, be assured that the board of NSITF will be constituted very soon, at most, before the end of July 2018,” he said.

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