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Julius Berger, AEDC, 83 staff get NSITF award

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Julius Berger


Construction giant, Julius Berger, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Nigeria-Ghana International School, Kuje, and British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), have bagged the 2018 edition of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) Excellence awards. 
 
Speaking at the award ceremony in Abuja, Tuesday, where 83 staffers were equally recognised, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of NSITF, Adebayo Somefun, explained that the decision to reward the organisations and staff was meant to spur them to greater heights. He said: “We gave the award in order to motivate the staff to enhance their productivity. The management did not just recognise them, but to also reward them for the excellent work they have been doing. The workforce has been doing a lot. We have achieved some remarkable milestones since the present management came on board two years ago.
 
“There are many NSITF workers that are toiling day and night in order to ensure that the Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS) is implemented to the satisfaction of injured employees as well as the organisations that are contributing to the fund.”The NSITF chief said rewarding the consistency of some partner organisations that have been contributing to the scheme was a way of thanking them for believing in NSITF.
 
“We rewarded the organisations to let them know that we appreciate their contributions and cooperation over the years. They are very important and central to the achievements we have recorded these past few years. We could not have achieved all these milestones all alone without our partners. The organisations have been helping us to ensure that our aims and objectives are kept afloat,” he stated. 
 
Somefun stressed that the Fund would continue to adopt persuasive approach rather than punitive tactics, saying, “when more employers see what we are doing, they would be encouraged to comply with the provisions of the ECS law. “Our aim is not to chase employers that are not complying with the intention of dragging them before the law courts, but to use the power of persuasion because the scheme is a social security. Employers should join the scheme based on conviction that that is the right thing to do for the benefit of their workers. However, we might result to using the law to enforce compliance when persuasion fails.”
 
On her part, the Executive Director, Operation, NSITF, Mrs Kemi Nelson, said achieving higher productivity of workforce among other things requires adequate recognition and celebration of those who do not just do the job, but go out of their way to achieve outstanding results.

“It is natural to expect reward where results have been achieved. There is nothing as motivating as knowing that your organisation appreciates exceptional contributions from its workforce,” she explained.
 
The Lagos Regional manager, Mrs Olufunke Aleshinloye, whose staff – Erebi Maria Kia – won the best performing branch manager 2018, said while the Lagos region is proud of its accomplishments, it would not rest on its oars to improve on not just collection, but also increase compliance level. She listed inability of NSITF to reach employers at addresses submitted as a major challenge confronting the region. 
 
Her words: “Our main challenge is simply reaching employers. Many employers register with us and give addresses that are difficult to locate. I am not saying these addresses are fictitious, but some have proved difficult to locate. When an organisation registers, we try to reach that address within 24 hours to ensure they are actually there. A lot of people will register and go to sleep. With locatable addresses, following up becomes easy.” 
 
She lauded the present management for increasing the number of branches in the Lagos region that has boosted efficiency.  She added: “Initially, we did not have many offices in Lagos but now we have nine braches in the state. With these branches, almost every part of Lagos is within our reach.”
 
While she decried low compliance level, Aleshinloye said the compliance must be located within the context of the national economy. “What we do is to reach employers to find out why are they not complying. We go on physical visit, exchange telephone calls and then follow up with writing of notifications. What we do most cases is to show employers the other side of the picture which is the claims. When we talk about claims, employers can really see the difference they can make in the lives of their workers that are injured,” she said.


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AEDCJulius BergerNSITF
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