The workers of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, under its union have threatened to embark on industrial unrest if the management of the agency does not attend to their demands in one week’s time.
An insider who disclosed this to The Accurate News said the organization has been enmeshed in a series of controversies ranging from misappropriation of funds contributed by employers of labour meant for the payment of compensations for occupational injuries and diseases.
Revealed that the controversies took a new turn on Wednesday at the Corporate Head Office of the organization in Abuja as well as all the offices nationwide when the staff of the fund under the workers union under the umbrella of Association of Senior Staff of Banks Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI-NSITF UNIT) trooped out to attend the congress called by the domestic leadership of the union.
Added that past successive management has also been accused of malfeasance in handling the affairs of the organization.
“The executives of the union have been struggling to ensure the management of the organization prioritizes the welfare of the workforce but the Management would rather be focused on contracts and persistent recruitments of new staff into the Management Cadre of the organization while the existing staff languish in various degrees of financial embarrassment and career stagnation.
The congress was said to be called as a result of the failure of the Management to pay the National Minimum wage consequential adjustment that has been directed by the National Income, Salaries and Wages Commission through a widely circulated circular.
“The Management of NSITF through the General Manager, Finance, Mr Ponkap Zwalda issued a corresponding memo on the implementation of the Consequential adjustment as well as the payment of the accrued arrears since April 2019. In the said memo sighted by our correspondent, the GM promised that payment would be made in three equal tranches, but after the first tranche was released on April 1, 2022, the Management came up with a strange and unverifiable tax under-deduction claim.
“Total Tax liabilities of N3.7bn were calculated according to a memo issued by GM Finance on 25th July 2022 out of which 25% of the total liabilities were deducted before the 2nd tranche was released to the staff. Some affected staff of the agency that spoke to us on the condition of anonymity mentioned that the alleged individual tax liability ranges between N700,000 and N1,800,000.
“At the Congress held on Wednesday, staff of the agency were demanding that the purported tax liabilities calculations should be carried out clearly and transparently rather than the secrecy that surrounded the issue.
“They have also expressed lack of confidence in the ability of the current GM Finance, Mr Ponkap Zwalda, as he has shown high level of incompetence in handling the Finance Department of the Agency.
“The staff also demanded that Management should halt the tax deductions and pay up the balance of the Consequential arrears in full. Also that the amount deducted so far from the 2nd tranche payment be immediately remitted to appropriate tax authorities within the next one week and evidences of such remittances be provided through the union.
“One of the union members present at the congress also decried the lack of sincerity on the part of the Honourable Minister of Labour who in January 2022, publicly pronounced that the salary of the Agency be reviewed upwardly within two weeks but disappointedly there has been committed upon committee since then up till November, the salary of the staff remains at what it has been since nine years ago.
The Union however declared that if nothing is done on the part of the Management within one week, it can no longer guarantee industrial peace in the agency.
See leaked documents below…