ILO, NSITF to partner on implementation of compensation scheme
THE Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and International Labour Organization (ILO) are exploring mutual partnership towards successful implementation of the employees’ compensation scheme.
Speaking on the need for the two organizations to strike a workable accord when he paid a working visit to the Nigeria Office of the ILO in Abuja, the Managing Director of NSITF, Munir Abubakar, said partnership is influenced by the need to develop the capacity of NSITF staff saying there are no many social security experts in the country.
He further explained that the additional mandates that include provision of social security to the elderly and unemployed further highlighted the need for additional training of staff members.
He added: “The additional mandate the NSITF has now to provide social security to the old and unemployed persons requires a lot of expertize. Therefore, we will need the International Labour Organization to give us more capacity in this regard. Between 1991 and 1993, the ILO team used to come to our office in Lagos to offer us technical assistance on the implementation of our programmes then. We are here to see how the ILO can help achieve our mandate, which is the delivery of qualitative social security to Nigerians.”
He stressed that NSITF is seeking collaboration to achieve its mandate because of the high expectations of Nigerians as well as government.
“We are seeking this collaboration because we know the burden of trust that has been placed on us at the NSITF by the entire Nigerian population. Indeed, the high expectation by the people is justified because they have waited so long for the implementation of the social security to kickoff in Nigeria, which explains the expectation. The government of President Goodluck Jonathan also has high hope on the capacity of the NSITF to deliver on this important mandate and that is why he has extended provision of social security to the aged and unemployed persons.”
In her response, the Country Representative of ILO, Chuma Sina Mkandawire, said the ILO is indeed elated about the achievements Nigeria made in the implementation of social security.
She stressed the need for proper delineation of various packages with who is paying for what services clearly defined.
Her words: “Nigeria has been a member of the governing body for a long time and she is required to have basic social protection floor for citizens, which is broader and encompassing. In designing social security, we need to look at who are the targets because it may leave out a number of people who are not contributing to the scheme. When talking about social security within the ILO, it excludes certain crops of people. The ILO must know if what Nigeria has introduced is basic, contributory or non-contributory. We will also want to know how the non-contributory members are covered in terms of who is paying for them? Is it government or they are required to pay a small token and how they assess the services.”
She said that the ILO is happy that NSITF recognizes the global job watch body as the most appropriate organization for the technical support it is seeking.
She stated that though the ILO did not play active role in the formation of the social security law in Nigeria, it is happy that the law has finally come saying that the international labour watch body was ready to support the NSITF in achieving its objectives.
Her words: “Indeed, the ILO was represented by one of its programme officers at the public hearing by the National Assembly. I think what is important to us is that the international best practices are followed in the new amendment to the bill that is before the President for his assent now. Nigeria is a very important partner of the ILO over the years and we believe that Nigeria should be the flag bearer of international norms.”
Mkandawire stated that going forward, the NSITF will be required to itemize what type of support it needs.
The ILO sub-regional chief stressed the need for massive training of NSITF top management at the Turin Training Centre with a view to expanding their efficiency in the implementation of social security in Nigeria.
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