NSITF seeks policy on social security
THE Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has urged the Federal Government to raise a policy on social security to serve as an anchor for the implementation of various social security programmes in the country.
Speaking in Abuja on the challenges confronting the implementation of social security initiatives in Nigeria, General Manager and head of social security of the NSITF, Ismail Agaka, explained that though the federal ministry of labour and productivity is charged with regulating implementation of social security in the country, it has not been empowered to carry out the function.
His explanation: “The Federal Ministry of labour is uniquely positioned to be the coordinating agency for all social protection initiatives in the country. This task was conferred on the ministry via a Federal Government gazette number 15 of March 1989, which gives the ministry an oversight function on all social security programmes in the country. The ministry also has longstanding relations with the ILO and understands its conventions and standards. These are the comparative advantages that the ministry has over any other ministry in the administration of social security in Nigeria.”
Agaka highlighted that there is need to harmonize and coordinate various social security programmes presently executed in various government ministries, departments and agencies.
“Nigeria does not have a structured social security yet. What Nigeria has are various social security programmes that are simultaneously implemented in at least nine MDAs. Therefore, the lack of synergy is really affecting the implementation of these programmes. Nigeria does not have a national policy on social security. The last attempt at having a national social security policy was the Gowon committee report. The committee submitted a report but up to now, several years after, there is no white paper published to enable legislation on the recommendations of the committee report. There is an urgent need for a national social policy,’ he said.
The list of agencies implementing some form of social security or the other include: NSITF, the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), NAPEP, MDGs now known as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Ministries of Women Affairs and Youths, SURE-P, Ministry of Agriculture, which is implementing food security initiative.
Agaka blamed lack of synergy for the ineffectiveness of the various programmes, which has led to the inability of Nigerians to feel their impacts maximally.
While lauding past efforts at expanding the implementation of social security to Nigerians, Agaka stressed that Nigerian has indeed done very well as it currently implements seven out of the nine programmes highlighted by the International Labour Organization’s Convention 102 even though most of them are in the formal sector of the economy.
He added: “We therefore have a situation whereby the formal sector employees mostly enjoy social security programmes.
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