Gloria Ogbu


The Senate Committee on Public Accounts have queried the management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) over missing N17.1 billion naira whose vouchers were supposedly eaten up by termites.

The office of the Auditor General of the Federation from its 2018 audit report had raised queries on misappropriation of the fund.

In the 2018 report, the AuGF said N17.1 billion was the total amount of money transferred by the NSITF from its Skye and First Bank accounts into various untraceable accounts belonging to individuals and companies from January to December 2013.

According to the audit report, 50 different queries were raised bordering on alleged misappropriation of funds by the management of the agency.

NSITF board management appeared before the committee last week where they could not justify the expenditure of N17.158 billion.

The SPAC, chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide (PDP Edo South), interrogated NSITF’s past and present managements on the issue, on Friday.

The panel asked the management team, where monies totalling N17.158bn were transferred between January and December 2013.

The management could not offer any satisfactory explanations for the undocumented multiple transfers.

NSITF Managing Director, Michael Akabogu, claimed that termites have eaten up some documents which contained details of spending by the agency in 2013. He told the lawmakers that the vouchers could not be produced.

Similarly, NSITF MD from 2010 to 2016, Umar Munir Abubakar, said he could not provide answers as the audit was not carried out during his tenure.

His successor Adebayo Somefun (May 2017 to July 2020) said those in the account section should be able to trace the documents.

As a result, the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation queried the agency for spending the funds without appropriate supporting documents because payment vouchers relating to transfers together with their supporting documents were not provided for audit.

Consequently, the purposes for the transfers could not be authenticated, the management of NSITF is to therefore appear before the Senate Committee on Public Accounts on September 22, 2022.