BY VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG
NIGERIA Employers Consultative Association, NECA, has given the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, managers of the Employee’s Compensation Scheme, ECS, three conditions to be met if member employers will remit deducted fund into the scheme.
This came as the fund said no fewer than 804 employers had so far been registered into the scheme, where it was evidenced that most of the employers in the country were yet to register into the scheme that effectively commenced July 1, 2011.
At a one-day interactive enlightenment forum on the Employee’s Compensation Act, 2010, jointly organized by NECA and NSITF in Lagos, Director-General of NECA, Mr. Segun Osinowo, threatened that should the fund fail to meet the conditions, members would deduct the One per cent money as required by the law, but would pay into a suspended account until NSITF turned a new leaf.
According to the Director-General, employers would demand from the fund performance in return for money contributed because the issue of governance had been a major problem confronting Nigeria.
Giving the three conditions, Mr. Osinowo said first, management efficiency and effectiveness is the key, emphasizing that the fund had no choice but to perform if it wanted to get the support of employers in the implementation of the ECS.
Secondly, NECA’s Director-General said the body and its members were demanding from NSITF good structures required for the operations of the scheme, adding that since the fund was demanding for speedy remittance of the money deducted, NSITF should on its part provide a definite timeline for payment of compensation to employers whose employees sustain injuries and apply for claims.
Osinowo said continuous constructive engagement of employers must be sustained. He warned that “if you (NSITF) fail to deliver any of these demands, we will effect deduction and put it in suspense account until you turn a new leaf before we can remit. We will support to deliver once you perform.”
Mr. Osinowo who earlier told participants that they should not be looking at the issue of ESC’s law, but the challenges in complying with the law, pleaded with NSITF to write off the debt of those who had remitted money from July 1, 2011 to January 2012 on the condition that affected employers would not default from January this year onwards.
Speaking, NSITF’s Executive Director, Administration, Mr. Ibrahim Wakawa, who assured that the three conditions were already been met, said since July 2011 to date, a total of 804 employers had registered into the scheme and that all employers in both private and public sectors had been notified about the commencement of the scheme.
While acknowledging that some employers who were had registered and had been remitting regularly, he lamented that many others had not remitted, disclosing that about 11 banks had been approved for the remittance of the fund.
According to him, 380 notices of accidents that took place at workplaces had been received by the fund without request for claim s, saying however that 189 applications for claims had been received.
He lamented that out of the 189, there were poor documentation, disclosing that the 30 cases were at various stages of procession and 18 claims had been paid where over N2.3 million spent. Mr Wakawa added the construction companies had been discovered to be accident prone.