NSITF’s compensation scheme enrollees rise by 45 per cent
Enrollees that are currently participating in the Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS), operated by the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), has grown by 45 per cent since 2017 when President Muhammadu Buhari appointed the present management team.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive of NSITF, Adebayo Somefun, who disclosed this at the International Arts and Crafts Expo (INAC), in Abuja, explained that apart from the contribution growing by 45 per cent from 2017 to date, about 100,000 employers have keyed into the scheme so far.
Somefun added that the scheme presently covers over 6.9 million employees from inception to date.
“The Fund is happy to report that since this present management team was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari, the numbers of participants have grown by 45 per cent. Not only that alone, we now have more than 100,000 employers on the scheme while the number of workers is around seven million. The ECS is a ‘during work benefit’, as it makes up for the missing gap in the Pension Reform Act, which covers only post-work benefit,” he said.
To promote transparency and accountability, Somefun hinted that the Fund has transited from manual operations to digital online registrations and payments to minimise human interference.
He also highlighted that the introduction of Electronic Certificate of Compliance (eCoC) Management system, which was piloted in the Abuja region successfully under the first phase, would be spread across all 11 regions of the Fund.
He also said advocacy through the involvement of legislature and consultancy services as a follow-up on recalcitrant employers are embarked upon to boost contributions nationwide.
He further explained that the ECS 2010 aims to provide for an open and fair system of guaranteed and adequate compensation for all employees or their dependents in the event of death, injury, disease or disability arising from or in the course of employment.
It also provides rehabilitation to employees with work-related disabilities as provided for in the Act, and also establishes and maintains a solvent compensation fund managed in the interest of employees and employers.
According to Somefun, the Act provides for fair and adequate assessments for Employers; provide an appeal procedure that is simple, fair and accessible, with minimal delays; and combine efforts and resources of relevant stakeholders for the prevention of workplace disabilities, including the enforcement of occupational safety and health standards.
Somefun urged stakeholders to take their responsibilities seriously saying, it is their duty to monitor health and safety issues in their workplaces and report promptly to NSITF to enable the Fund to take necessary action to safeguard their health.
While assuring contributors to the safety of remitted funds, he stressed that investment is only embarked upon on the recommendations of the Independent Investment Committee.
He hinted that the Fund is working in partnership with the National Council for Occupational Safety & Health, for the prevention of occupational diseases and the promotion of safety and health culture in the workplace.
The NSITF helmsman said the scheme does not only benefit employees directly but saying employers also derive direct benefits.
He explained: “The NSITF refunds medical expenses incurred on employees. Indeed employers are also compensated for the loss of productivity. The Scheme relieves the employer of the heavy burden of solely taking care of the injured workers. The scheme also maintains payment of compensation whether the employer is liquid or not. Payment to the injured worker is made regularly without recourse to the employer, no matter the amount of liability. Above all, the scheme is boosting national productivity by ensuring that the workforce is healthy, and work without inhibition knowing a scheme is there for them in case of occupational hazards.”