By Samuel J. Kargbo & Jariatu Bangura
As the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Labour and Industrial Relations continue its probe of institutions which are indebted to the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT), head of West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), Joseph Sheriff Sapateh, was yesterday nailed by the Committee and ordered to pay the sum of Le78.3m. The amount is deductions from workers’ salaries from 2002 to 2014, which the sub-regional examinations body had reneged to pay, in flagrant breach of the NASSIT Act.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Francis A. Konuwa, ordered the WAEC boss to pay the money by 20th June, threatening to take action should the latter fails to heed the ultimatum. He requested that WAEC presents documents of payment of the NASSIT fees for the aforementioned years plus submit a bank statement to the effect by 20th June.
Other Committee members raised concerns about the habit of institutions deducting money from workers salary for supposed NASSIT benefits, only for such fees not to b paid to the trust fund.
While responding, Mr. Sapateh said the body’s key source of revenue is pupils’ fees paid by the government, from which workers are paid. He said that Council struggles to pay workers salary because government has stopped paying subvention to them, and that without such they cannot pay NASSIT.
He therefore pleaded with the Committee to be given more time, preferably when the Ministry of Education pays their subvention, to pay the backlog of deductions to NASSIT.