The lawmaker lashed out at the Minister for his role in the suspension of the board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSIF) which he said was unlawful.
Faleke said Ngige moved against the NSITF management after it opposed his alleged bid to pad the agency’s budget with N2bn.
He said, “The Minister of Labour has abused his office and if I were the President, I will get him removed based on (these) facts. They submitted the budget of the NSITF to him and singlehandedly, he altered the budget; and when the officials of the agency protested, he threatened to remove them.
“The minister inserted a N2bn project in the budget as commission for collection. This has never happened in that agency. He wanted the management to be out of office so that he can implement that budget. So, he removed all the people, who we against that decision and left it to the people who never knew about the argument between them.”
Faleke further accused Ngige of using his wife, who allegedly works in the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, to award contracts.
Ngige however fired back at Faleke and accused him of abusing parliamentary process.
In a statement by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Charles Akpan, Ngige denied the allegation of budget padding, noting that the final product of a national budget was the making of the National Assembly, which he said left him in no position whatsoever to influence the budget.
In the statement dated July 7, 2020, and titled, ‘Ngige to Faleke: Learn not to abuse parliamentary process’, the minister said, “It is instructive here to note that ministers do not award contracts and neither sit in the ministerial tenders board nor tenders board of parastatals.
“Clearly, even the Ministry of Labour’s representatives on the NSITF main board are not part of the tenders board of that parastatal. So, how, when and where did the minister sit in that board to choose, much less pad the budget?
“It is therefore easy to attribute Faleke’s motion on the floor of the House on Tuesday to a consummate parliamentary mischief or outright ignorance of the Bureau of Public Procurement Act, or both.”
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