NSITF enlightens Kaduna companies on safety in workplace

…Pays N.867b Claims in 2021

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

The management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, has vowed to prosecute recalcitrant employers.

The Managing Director of NSITF, Dr. Mike Akabogu made the vow at the 2022 Management Performance Review Conference of the Fund in Abuja.

This was contained in a statement issued by Ijeoma Okoronkwo, General Manager, Corporate Affairs of NSITF.

According to the statement Dr. Akabogu said the Fund paid the sum of N857, 754, 394.51 as claims in 2021.

The Managing Director, in his remark charged the staff of the agency to work harder towards the consolidation of its strategic reforms.

Akabogu, who took charge of the Office barely a year ago, said the agency was being reformed to raise the bar of performance, hence the need for continuous cross-level engagement of the workforce to engender synergy needed for the achievement of target goals.

He said, “In our quest for the optimum realization of the mandate of the Employee Compensation Act, we must continue raising the bar, by implementing landmark decisions for our strategic reform.

“Hence, we deem it necessary to continually engage our workforce so that the activities of various departments and units will be streamlined for easy realization of our core targets and objectives. That’s why we are here today.

“We are here for stock-taking, to measure our performance in the previous year. How did we fare? What are the obstacles, the challenges? The feedback is necessary for the re-engineering of our strategic reforms and setting the tone for year 2022 and beyond.

“Our new approach is horizontal, hence the decision to invite the branch managers across the country, who are frontline leaders in the organization to give first-hand account of service to the fund. It was the regional managers who did so hitherto.

“The new format will enable senior managers appreciate the challenges on the ground and the way forward as well as work in sync with the fund’s dynamic model for the consolidation of gains made – all for efficiency and greater productivity.”

Akabogu recalled the fund’s focus for the year to include aggressive enforcement on Non-Treasury Funded MDA’s, States and LGA’s, high net worth private sector employers, using both the special enforcement and Inspection team as well as partnering the Industrial Training Fund(ITF) and Corporate Affairs Commission for date harmonization.

Others include prosecution of recalcitrant employers, prompt payment of claims and compensation, increase the productivity of every department and staff welfare.

In a performance review by the General Manager, Claims and Compensation, Barr. Nkiru Ogunnaike, the fund revealed that in 2021, it processed and paid 18,128 claims, amounting to a total of sum of N857, 754, 394.51, with Lagos and Abuja regions accounting for 7,688 and 4,223 of the claims.

She specifically noted a pathetic case of an employee of Bougyeus Construction Company who sustained injury in the course of work, leading to total deafness in his two ears and requiring Cochlear Implant Surgery to enable him hear again.

“The Board of the NSITF sat and exhaustively deliberated on this case of 100% disability and graciously approved the sum of N14 million for the surgery.

He has also been added to the monthly payroll of the NSITF/Employee Compensation Scheme Unit, pending successful operation and recovery, and if not, until he attains the age of 55.

In his presentation, the General Manager Health, Safety and Environment, Dr. Kelly Nwagha said the agency is centred on occupational health and safety which is the convention the world over, noting that key to its operation is prevention which again, is anchored on proactiveness.

He stated the department has taken occupational safety awareness campaigns to the doorstep of the employers and employees to ensure accident prevention in work places.

He said, “in the year under review, the department has undertaken a total of 867 accident/ incident cases involving prompt medical intervention, identification of accurate root causes, proffering of correct remedial actions and collation of factual statistics.

“We have also carried out 690 Occupational Safety and Health awareness and enlightenment programmes, imparting improved knowledge base on participants (Employers & Employees) with sensitization topics tailored towards identified organizational needs. Participants were assessed before and after sensitization.

“We have equally taken 1426 occupational safety and health audit and investigation in the year under review.”

The two-day programme ends tomorrow ,Saturday, January 21, 2022.

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