NSITF partners NEITI, NAPPS on employees’ compensation
MANAGING Director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Umar Munir Abubakar, has called on the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to assist in enforcing compliance with the Employees’ Compensation Scheme (ECS) in the country.
He made the call when he paid the Executive Secretary, Zainab Ahmed, a courtesy call in her office recently.
The NSITF boss stated that as an agency that controls transparency and accountability in the extractive industries, NEITI is in a strategic position to ensure that employers in the sector register their employees in the no-fault social security scheme.
Abubakar, who assured the NEITI Executive Secretary that the Agency is already covered by the scheme since the Federal Government has paid for all its workers, appealed to her to provide the Fund with detailed information of industries under her agency’s control so the NSITF could ensure that all categories of employees are covered by the Scheme.
He further urged her to insist that contractors comply with the ECS before they are awarded any contracts by her agency.
The Managind Director explained that in the interest of the Nigerian worker, the Federal Government had passed the Employees’ Compensation Act in 2010 enabling NSITF to implement the ECS, which effectively took off in July 2011.
According to him, “the ECS is the Federal Governments initiative that replaces the obsolete Workman Compensation which was run by private insurance companies and replete with many problems.”
He added that the ECS is a social security scheme, which takes care of any injuries or death in the course of work, or any diseases arising from the nature of work, adding that it takes only two weeks to get compensation when the benefits forms have been properly completed by an employer.
Responding, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Zainab S. Ahmed, expressed satisfaction with the implementation of the ECS, describing the scheme as a huge task.
Ahmed, who promised her support to NSITF in the successful implementation of the Scheme, revealed that her agency normally carries out audits in the extractive industries and some of those audits include monitoring social payments made for the employees in the sector.
She maintained that in the next round of audits to be carried out in the sector, NEITI would include monitoring of compliance to the ECS and explained NEITI would work hand-in-hand with NSITF to develop the templates for such an audit, stressing that they would ask the industries to furnish the agency with information on payments and also ask a copy of the same details from NSITF to ensure that the information given by the industries are not doctored.
The Executive Secretary, who advised the Fund to ensure compliance by compulsion, also promised to always provide any details the Fund would need about industries under its control and their addresses.
In a similar visit to the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools of Nigeria (NAPPS) at Tital Global School, Wuse 2, the NSITF boss urged the Association to work in collaboration with the Fund to ensure that the Employees’ Compensation Scheme covers teachers and other staff of their institutions.
The NSITF boss lamented that many school employees have suffered injuries and even lost their lives as a result of the insurgence in some parts of the country.
National President of NAPPS, Dr. Rabiu Abdulkadir Kurfi, commended the management of the Fund for adopting the option of dialogue.
He acknowledged that the visit was a very fruitful one as some of the private school proprietors were not even aware of the Law enabling the scheme.