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Tension mounts at NERFUND over fears of mass sack

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Nigeria needs $4.5bn to recapitalise special banks

Workers of the National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND) now live in fear of the unknown as the situation bedevilling the agency’s activities has taken a new dimension.

A greater part of last week saw some senior members of staff being edgy as rumours of government winding up the activities of the body spread.

Trouble began for the agency when government received a report that more than 70 per cent of the N5.5 billion funds, recently channeled through it by the Goodluck Jonathan administration for startups and other older companies could not be traced.

Created in 1989 to support private sector imitative that has innovations in any aspect of the economy, the fund is supposed to work in collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BoI), but several administrations had indicated intention to wind it up.

Read also: Jaiz Bank shares now trade on Nigerian Stock Exchange

The Oronsaye committee report on pruning down of government departments and agencies penciled it down as one the establishments in the first page of those to be scrapped.

But since July 2016, the management of the fund has been run through the BoI, which was directed to take over the day-to-day activities of the agency

It will be recalled that in a circular issued by the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Permanent Secretary, Mahmoud Dutse, had in January 2016 directed all senior management staff of the establishment to submit reports on their activities, while the rest of staff proceed on indefinite leave, pending further action that would be taken on the issue.

The notice read in part, “Following recent developments in your organisation and failure to reconcile the differences between the executive management and the entire staff in spite of the ministry’s intervention on the matter, the Federal Ministry of Finance has decided to close down your agency with immediate effect to forestall a further breakdown of law and order.

“Consequently, all members of staff should proceed on an indefinite leave pending further instructions from the ministry.”

However, the Media Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Mr. Festus Akanbi, said as far the ministry is concerned, NERFUND has been closed down.

He confirmed that already the Minister Mrs. Kemi Adeosun had already set up a committee to investigate the allegations of corruption leveled against the current interim management of the agency

To worsen the fate of NERFUND, series of petitions were said to have flooded the ministry, alleging massive embezzlement by the former management.

Just between November 2016 and January, both the Ministry of Finance and the EFCC were said to have received more than 10 petitions against the interim management for alleged disappearance of about N800 million, meant for workers’ remuneration.

“We will rather prefer having government take firm decision as to whether to allow NERFUND remain in operation or have it closed down, we are tired of being tossed about by successive governments,” said Mr. Bernard Kulomoh, a contractor with the agency.

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0 Comments

  1. Roland Uchendu Pele

    February 12, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    “Consequently, all members of staff should proceed on an indefinite leave pending further instructions from the ministry.”

    This is how it usually begins! I remember how we were eventually thrown out by NPA some years ago. The suffering in this country is just unacceptable.

    • JOHNSON PETER

      February 12, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      You were thrown out because you were unproductive and so it is of no use keeping you.

      • Roland Uchendu Pele

        February 12, 2017 at 12:35 pm

        You are a barking dog, you know that right? You don’t know me and you have the gut to sit there and conclude on my productivity in workplace. You need to school yourself in the institution of respect.

        • Balarabe musa

          February 12, 2017 at 1:15 pm

          Lol. Hahaha. Why the hurling of abusive words. News comment section is meant for us to dialogue to adduce solutions to the ills in the governance of our country. We should be a strong community finding panaceas to issues affecting us.

        • Margret Dickson

          February 12, 2017 at 2:01 pm

          Mr Pele, calling Peter a barking dog won’t change the fact that you were thrown out some years ago. The truth hurts, deal with what Peter said in private.

      • Joy Madu

        February 13, 2017 at 3:53 am

        Stop saying that are you better than him or you just want to talk foolishly.mind your speech

  2. Animashaun Ayodeji

    February 12, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND), unknown companies like this are usually used to embezzle money. I was even thinking they are part of new generations organizations, not known they have been existing since 1989, what have they been doing since then? Nothing concrete.

  3. yanju omotodun

    February 12, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Unemployment is intensifying everyday. They have to reverse this o.

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