By Victor Ahiuma-Young & Johnson Agbakwuru
AS part of efforts to deepen the implementation of Employee’s Compensation Act, ECA, and raise greater awareness on its benefits, Nigeria Social Insurance Fund, NSITF, and Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, have stressed the need for employers to adhere strictly to mutually agreed definition of payroll in remitting the one percent ECA deduction.
At NSITF-NECA Safe Workplace Intervention Project, SWIP, 2016 and problem Solving Clinic on the ECA 2010, NSITF and NECA pledged to strengthen the existing trust, cooperation and relationship between both organisations.
Speaking, Acting Managing Director of NSITF, Mr. Ismail Agaka, called on employers to prioritize the occupational health and safety of the employees, and embrace ECA .
According to Agaka while over 51, 000 employers had registered with the ECA scheme, about 6.5million employees had been covered.
The Acting Managing Director said if those registered were matched with the number of employers and employers in the country, it was obvious that there were still a lot of work to be done to get more participation.
He assured the management of NSITF was intensifying the drive for more participation.
Mr. Agaka disclosed that scheme had paid over N700million as compensation to over 6,000 workers that sustained various degrees of injuries in the course of work.
While stressing the importance of the ECA, the Acting Managing Director added “We have a family whose breadwinner died and after the computation of the entitlements, we are now paying up to N1.3million monthly to the beneficiaries. That represents 90 per cent of the last income of the deceased breadwinner”
Earlier, Director General of NECA Mr. Segun Oshinowo, warned employers against flouting the agreed definition of payroll in the payment of the one percent required by the ECA, saying any employer that failed to respect the rule would have itself to blame.
Mr. Oshinowo, recalled the controversy surrounding the definition of payroll deduction into the scheme, and said to resolve it, a joint committee between employers and NSITF was set up to arrive at agreed definition of the payroll and mode of deduction among others.
According to the committee had finished its work and a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, would be signed.
He said: “We are going to sign the MOU that gives acceptable definition of pay roll, any employers who refuses to comply and play by the rules as agreed will be on its own.”
In his key not address, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, represented by Lagos State Controller of Labour, Olawole Shado, said SWIP was the outcome of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, between NSITF and NECA in November, 2011.
According him, “It is noteworthy that SWIP aims to promote safe workplace, minimize the rate of industrial accidents, encourages up to date capacity building and a preventive culture of Occupational Safety and Health, OSH, in Nigerian workplaces. Through constant collaboration, NECA and NSITF strive to ensure efficient and effective implementation of the Employees’ Compensation Scheme, ECS, and its full compliance.”