By Michael Ajayi
The Managing Director/CEO of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Mr. Adebayo Somefunin, has said that over, 24,880 claims and compensation had been processed and paid to beneficiaries under different contingencies in the last two years.
According to him the current administration has recorded a large number of rehabilitation case, “Within two years of our administration, NSITF has rehabilitated 42 persons, making the total of 54 since implementation of the scheme in 2011,” he said.
“This process entails providing prosthetic limbs for employees who lost a limb in accidents while at work and training such employees on the usage of the artificial limbs. We have also provided hearing aids to some victims.
Somefunin, further disclosed that 347 dependents and 448 disability beneficiaries were on monthly payroll of the fund as at February 2019. About other 20 persons above the age of 55 years had been paid lump sums on a one-off basis.
However the NSITF is said to be working towards upholding its acts on the provisions of Employees Compensation Act (ECA), by compelling employers of labour to comply.
The enabling Act as amended (2011) makes it mandatory for employers of labour to pay 1 per cent of their employees’ emoluments to a pool of insurance fund which is being managed by NSITF.
The law enabling act stipulates that every organisation that employs even one worker is under statutory obligation to register for the ECS; these include domestic staff. It also emphasises that failure to do so amounts to a breach of the law.
In the wake of this, Somefunin cleared the air on how to access the scheme, that employer government or private/individual, was required to pay only one per cent of total payroll of their employees to the NSITF, emphasising that this is at no cost to the employee.
“Once that is done, it becomes the duty of NSITF to carry the burden which otherwise would have gone to the employer where there is a workplace injury, death or disability.” Somefunin described the scheme a “no-fault” scheme that covers all categories of workers in every sector of employment.
Also speaking on the supposed change, a general manager with NSITF, Segun Basorun, while giving management details of development in Lagos said that the persuasive measure has been tried over time but the intended results are not gotten yet.
“We have used the persuasion and subtle approach to enlist the buy-in of employers since the inception of the fund in 2011, But going forward, we’re going to invoke the provisions against employers who have remained recalcitrant and refused to register with ECA scheme,” Basorum said.
The fund acts as a buffer against injuries, loss of body parts, permanent disability or death of an employee resulting from accidents on line of duty. It is indeed a form of social insurance that provides succour directly to an employee or his/her dependants in the event of untoward occurrences in the course of duty.