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FIWON wants health insurance scheme expanded

By VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG
LAGOS— Federation of Informal Workers’ Organisations of Nigeria, FIWON, has called for the expansion of National Health Insurance Scheme to incorporate the peculiar needs of informal workers for healthcare services, as part of comprehensive national social protection policy.

FIWON, in a statement in Lagos to mark the “2011 World Day for Decent Work” demanded the implementation of a social pension scheme for every Nigerian from 65 years and above left out of all existing pension schemes.

FIWON’s General Secretary, Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, in the statement, querried the rationale for payment of a fixed amount of money equivalent to the national minimum wage, to be funded by the Federal Government.

He said: “We commend the efforts of a few state governments, Jigawa and Ekiti states, already implementing limited social protection measures and the policy of the Osun State Government to directly engage informal workers in its public work programmes rather dealing with big contractors.”

“There is need for a comprehensive and coherent national social protection policy for informal workers in Nigeria that will incorporate the principles of the Global Jobs Pact adopted by the International Labour Conference of the ILO in June 2009.

The Pact among other recommendations urged member states to ‘Build adequate social protection for all, as a first priority, aimed at providing a universal basic social protection floor.

“The Social Protection Floor aims at helping every country, however poor to define some minimum standards of social security for its citizens so that one of the most important human right instruments of all times, the 1948 United Nations Charter on Human Rights will not continue to be completely disregarded.

“Article 22 of the Charter provides that “Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realisation, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organisation and resources of each state, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality,” he added.


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