The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has responded to criticism by the All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, stating that he was unfazed by threats of disciplinary action against him.
Oshiomhole had threatened Ngige with expulsion over delay in inauguration of the board members of federal agencies and parastatal under his ministry.
The parastatals and agencies are the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), National Directorate of Employment (NDE), National Productivity Centre (NPC), and Michael Imoudu Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS).
The APC chairman had emphasised that under his leadership, the party will not tolerate ministers who showed disrespect to President Muhammadu Buhari by refusing to carry out his directives.
Reacting however, Ngige said on Wednesday that the APC chairman spoke out of ignorance.
He explained that the board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) was yet to be inaugurated because of reports of alleged diversion of funds to the tune of N48 billion.
When asked if he would comply and if he was not afraid of suspension from the party, Ngige said, “How? In a party that we formed and brought them in? The man is talking out of ignorance. I’m not afraid of suspension.”
In a letter Ngige wrote to Oshiomhole, 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.”
The minister said he had reconstituted three boards out of the four agencies and parastatals under his ministry, but has not been able to constitute the board of NSITF because of cases of financial malfeasance, which have put the agency under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
RipplesNigeria… without borders, without fears