Underwriting companies under the auspices of Nigerian Insurers s Association (NIA) have extolled the decision of the Federal Government to allow the private sector to run the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), describing the decision as a step in the right direction.
The associated commended that the presentadministration’s effort at involving the private sector in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity will surely make the desired difference as PHCN- the state run monopoly had proved incapable of guaranteeing steady power supply to Nigerians despite the huge sums of money the government has sunk into the electricity project.
According to the NIA, “Thegovernment’s decision to privatise the power transmission and distribution companies is in line with the Association’s position on the Employee Compensation Bill 2010 and on other similar services provided by state agencies”.
However, the NIA opined that where the private sector is best suited to manage certain critical aspects of the economy, state monopolies should not be created as attempts are being made to resuscitate the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), and make it a state monopoly in the management and administration of a Employee Compensation Scheme for workers.
In the Bill which is still in the National Assembly, the federal Government is seeking to make the NSITF both a service provider and a regulator of workmen compensation scheme for workers in both the public and private sectors of the economy.
In the Association’s presentation to the relevant National Assembly Committees, the NIA emphasized that since insurance companies were already providing cover for workplace injuries, diseases and death, it only requires the regulation by Honourable Minister of Labour and Productivity as enshrined in section 40 of the Workmen Compensation Act 2004 to give effect to the immediate enforcement of that law.