… encourages Nigerians to enrol in the employee compensation scheme
By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja
Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Dr Kelly Nwagha, Wednesday, disclosed that the organisation has spent over N4 billion as compensation paid to employees of various organizations who had accidents in their workplaces.
He also said that the Fund spends at least N1 million on monthly basis as compensatory payment to individual employees that lost their spouse.
Nwagha made the disclosure at a press conference in Abuja to mark the 2021 World Day for Safety and Health at Workplace tagged: “Anticipate, Prepare and Respond To Crisis – Invest Now In Resilient Occupational Safety and Health Systems”, organized by its Health Safety and Environment (HSE) department.
He said that all offices and branches of NSITF nationwide including the ones in FCT suburbs of Gwagwalada, Kubwa and Nyanya staged a roadshow to create awareness of the scheme.
The MD encouraged Nigerians to enrol in the Employee Compensation Scheme to enable them to enjoy the benefits.
He said: “This year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work focuses on the theme “Anticipate, Prepare and Respond To Crisis – Invest Now In Resilient Occupational Safety and Health Systems” as it unveils strategies to invest in resilient Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) systems in workplaces in order to face crises, now and in the future, drawing lessons and experiences from the world of work.
“Employee Compensation Scheme, NSITF is calling on all employers of labour to enrol all its employees into the employee compensation scheme because of the many benefits that are in the scheme. This is basically what we are preaching today. And we are going about all over the 56 branches of NSITF today preaching this message, creating more awareness, enlightening the public on the benefits that come to them. The public, the employer and the employee. If the key in, you, the press will also benefit.
“If an employee is rolled into the scheme by the employer, the responsibility of taking care of those injuries falls reasonably on NSITF, reasonably because if you do not get the information, there is nothing we can do about it. But if the employer informs us in good time to come and carry out the necessary investigations, the purpose of which is to identify the causes that led to those injuries, we have measures on the ground that will mitigate future occurrences or the impact. However, where the impact is not possible for us to mitigate, accidents definitely will happen, we now rehabilitate and the rehabilitation will help the injured employee to get back to normal optimal working condition. That’s on that part. But where the person loses an arm, we provide items like proteins. And this item is to ensure that the person comes back to work. But you agree he cannot be as normal as having his arms. He has now developed disability and we now move over to the third service which is compensation.
“We now pay this injured employee compensation to argument, to stabilise and make him happier so as being out the best in either the job he was doing before or we try to help bring another job or counsel the employer to get another job that will benefit the employee in his present condition. Should there be death, we pay the next of kin of the employee some reasonable amount of benefits. This we have been doing and I want to let you know that in the last couple since inception, we have paid not less than four points something billion as benefits to deserving employees.
“At the individual level, we have paid many companies/employees in the area of payment for loss of spouses, we have been paying a couple of families an amount more than a million every month as benefits occasioned by the death of a spouse”.
Nwagha said that the impact of Covid-19 has been felt in the employment sector, as such necessitated some social protection.
“Since its emergence as a global crisis in late 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has led the government, employers, workers and the general populace to face unprecedented challenges in relation to the virus and the many consequences the crisis has had on the world of work.
“Many developing countries including Nigeria have introduced temporary social protection measures in response to the crisis in order to facilitate access to health care, protect jobs and mitigate income loss. However, recovery will only be sustained and future crises mitigated if the government is able to progressively build on or transform such temporary relief measures into comprehensive and shock-responsive social protection systems, including social protection floors, in line with human rights and ILO social security standards, as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (United Nations 2020a). This will also require increasing and sustaining fiscal space for social protection, as well as political will.
“Social protection as a response to COVID-19 pandemic is “an indispensable mechanism for delivering support to individuals during the crisis”. It examines the response measures a country has introduced, including removing financial barriers to quality health care, enhancing income security, reaching out to workers in the informal economy, protecting incomes and jobs, and improving the delivery of social protection, employment and other interventions.
“With regard to coordinated policy responses in times of crisis and recovery, the Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience Recommendation, 2017 (No. 205) calls on members to undertake the following as quickly as possible: to ensure effective access to essential health care and other basic social services, in particular, for population groups and individuals who have been made vulnerable by the crisis; to ensure an adequate emergency response and developing a longer-term strategy for strengthening social protection systems and crisis-preparedness in developing Countries requires a number of measures”, Nwagha said.