NICL CEO tenders notice of resignation to the board

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ISLAMABAD: Allegedly involved in the recruitment of nine senior officials at National Insurance Company Limited (NICL), NICL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Captain (retd) Jamil Akhtar Khan on Monday tenders three months’ notice of resignation to the Chairman, Board of Directors (BoD) of the company.

A copy of notice submitted to the Chairman of NICL’s BOD available with Pakistan Today discloses that NICL’s CEO has submitted a three months’ notice of resignation with a ‘heavy heart’. He said as things now stand, unfortunately, it will be no longer be possible for me to continue.

“In accordance with the terms of appointment letter, I hereby tender my three months’ notice of resignation,” said CEO in his notice dated November 27, 2017.

Well-informed sources said that the CEO Captain (retd) Jamil Akhtar Khan has tendered notice of resignation in a bid to safeguard his benefits. They said by submitting his resignation, he may be eligible to get three months’ salary in advance. However, he might not be eligible to avail all such benefits, which are usually granted to an employee on expiry of his/her appointment contract. They said it is a futile exercise initiated by the CEO to control the damages because he is allegedly involved in controversial recruitment on top posts of NICL.

“CEO has tendered resignation as there was no option left which was not exhausted by him to save the skin and secure the said alleged appointments he made on nine senior official posts of BS-18, BS-19, BS-20,” said sources.

Earlier, the Ministry of Commerce, after a nod from the federal cabinet, decided to remove CEO and nine senior officials of National Insurance Company Limited (NICL), which were recruited by NICL chief. The ministry apparently took this final decision as the inquiries conducted by Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC), National Accountability Bureau (NAB), and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) declared these appointments controversial.  Besides, the ministry of commerce has advised NICL management to immediately implement the recommendations of inquiry committee and submit a report within a week.

Available documents disclose the ministry has approved the removal of the nine senior officials which were initially pointed out by audit (DAC) and later the ministry of commerce constituted an inquiry committee to probe the objections raised by the audit. And, in the light of inquiry committee’s recommendations, the ministry of commerce has removed these nine officials and the NICL CEO as well.

As per document, NICL’s General Manager Corporate Services, Col (retd) Mahmood Ahmad (BS-20), Chief Manager Abdul Waheed (BS-19), Zonal Head Lahore Lt Col (retd) Zafar Iqbal, Chief Manager Quetta Wahid Khan, Assistant General Manager (IT) Shahzad, Deputy General Manager  (Reinsurance) Asad Ali Sheikh, Manager Danish Khalid, Deputy Manager Mir Ali Raza Alvi and Muhammad Salman Siddiqui have been removed from the NICL.

It is to note here that the commerce ministry has earlier sought removal of NICL’s CEO over alleged illegal recruitment on nine official slots from the Prime Minister as an audit report unearthed illegal recruitment in NICL. Upon this, the commerce ministry constituted a three-member DAC (Departmental Accounts Committee) was formed under trade ministry secretary. The DAC, after thorough scrutiny of documents of NICL, and analysis of the process of recruitment, has recommended initiation of inquiry to find the facts and advice to determine the response of said illegal recruitment. Later, the three-member DAC proved that illegal recruitment on responsible slots were made in violation of recruitment procedure and also by giving exemptions to the necessary conditions of recruitment including education, experience, regional quota, and written test.

Similarly, besides recommending to declare the said nine appointments in NICL as null and void, the DAC also held NICL CEO as responsible for the said illegal and unlawful recruitment. DAC also pointed out that there was no HR (human resource) manual in NICL and even the CEO could not provide the minutes of the recruitment committee which approved the recruitment of officials. More, a summary of the commerce ministry sent to the premier sought removal of NICL CEO recommended the prime minister to immediately get rid of the CEO by paying him three months’ salary in advance as per the conditions of his appointment contract. The summary also suggested the PM to appoint any board member as CEO as a temporary arrangement to run the affairs of NICL. And federal cabinet made its approval to the recommendations of commerce ministry regarding the removal of NICL’s CEO and nine other senior officials.

It is also learnt that nine officials have now approached the Sindh High Court against the ministry’s decision and pleaded that the inquiry was falsely conducted and honourable Sindh High Court has fixed a date of hearing on December 05, 2017 and directed to file a comprehensive report as well as inquiry proceedings, in any, initiated against the petitioners on the next date of hearing.

It is worth mentioning here that although commerce ministry alone is not authorised to remove the top man of NICL without the approval of NICL board, however, the ministry has so far remained all out to remove the NICL chief from top slot with executive order while without the approval of the board. However, NICL CEO Captain (retd) Jamil Akhtar Khan has tendered resignation to safeguard only three months’ salary in accordance with the terms and conditions of his appointment contract.