…extends scheme to unregistered employers of labour to key into the scheme
By Bashir Bello, KANO
The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF over the weekend said since its inception it has expended over N4 billion as compensation for employees who sustained injuries at their various workplaces.
The Fund’s General Manager in charge of Health, Safety and Environment, Dr Kelly Nwagha stated this during its 2021 Annual Occupational Safety and Health sensitization programme for employers from Northwest and Northeast zones held in Kano.
Nwagha said the funds were given out as succour to the victims (employees) through their employers to augment injuries sustained.
He further noted that a lot of employers were not aware of the scheme hence the need for the sensitization programme to extend the schemes to the employers (unregistered employers) in order to key in and tap from the numerous benefits available under the scheme.
According to him, “Since inception, we have so far spent not less than N4 billion in paying compensation to injured employees through their employers. And we have been constantly paying compensation to the injured employees. This is done at zero cost to the employees and employers. Because the employers pay a premium of one per cent of the total salary of the entire workforce on behalf of the employees and they would not deduct it from the salary of the employees.
“It is a pull of funds that we all contribute. And so we keep it as a trust for the employees and employers, not the government. It is not a case of tax.
“So far, we have more than 100 employers of labour all over the federation. And the number is increasing.
“The main challenge is the inability of employers to understand what they stand to benefit from the employee’s compensation scheme of NSITF.
“The program is organized with the goal to sensitize selected employers within North East and North West zones on how prevention of workplace accidents and promotion of Occupational Safety and Health, OSH can enhance their productivity and improve their bottom line.
“The program is extended to include the unregistered employers within the zone because we do not want any employers to miss out on the enshrined benefits of the Employees Compensation scheme.
“So this program we are carrying out here is part of the processes to let the employers of labour know the benefits when they enrol their employees in the scheme. Because that would lead to improvement in morale and productivity of the employees as well as an increase in revenue of the employers. When there is more money to the employer, staff welfare will improve, there will be more employments which will reduce crimes and other social vices in the country,” Dr Nwagha said.
Earlier, the Fund’s Senior Manager, Susan Osuhor said lack of Occupational Safety and Health awareness in workplaces is responsible for the high rate of workplaces injuries, diseases and death stressing the need for the good safety culture-induced in the workplaces to ensure safe workplaces.
Osuhor maintained that a safe workplace guarantees high productivity and efficiency as it will save hours that will be lost treatment of injured employees.