Ethics Scorecard: NSITF Tackles ICPC Over Report

A REPORT by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC), portraying the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, (NSITF) as one of agencies of government with high-risk corruption has been countered by the agency.

The agency in reaction on Monday described the report as unfounded and an attempt by the anti-graft agency to distract the NISTF management at all costs insisting that the report was taken out of context.

The General Manager and Head of Corporate Affairs, Ijeoma Oji-Okoronkwo, in a statement said the agency had in the past dealt with corruption and has moved forward, noting that the current management which came into being in 2019 has been living above board.

The statement reads: “Our attention is drawn to the purported call by some staff of the Fund allegedly requesting an immediate probe of the agency by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC, as well as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

“This call is based on a breakdown of the ICPC infograph showing that 52 agencies which include NSITF, National Broadcasting Commission, Federal Civil Service Commission, Court of Appeal, National Hospital and several other government agencies, were identified as non-responsive implying that these agencies did not respond to enquiries on them.

“The ICPC consequently marked them as “High Corruption Risk” (HCR) and were “flagged for the attention of the public and for further inquiries and actions.”

The statement further asserted that the allegation of corruption against the Fund was taken out of context to suit a negative purpose and “is therefore unfounded and an attempt to distract the management from its commitments to carrying out its mandates.”

It noted further: “Although NSITF in the past has had to deal with several negative press attributed to the past Board and some members of management of the Fund, the new Board( put up 2019) and the new management under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the supervision of the Minster for Labour and Employment, Senator Dr Chris Nwabueze Ngige have been piloting the affairs of the Fund in line with all relevant laws, regulations and guidelines.

“This is predicated on the fact that the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund under the current leadership runs an open door policy and has not defaulted in the Fund’s mandate and the presidential directives on transparency and accountability.”

The statement called on the ICPC which has the mandate of carrying out system reviews for MDAs to come to do a thorough and fair system study of the Fund to enable the Fund identify gaps, build more robust internal controls and systems to prevent and detect instances of corruption and report same.

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