Ngige charges NSITF on tougher penalties for defaulters of compensation scheme
THERE are indications that companies that fail to enroll their workers on the Employees Compensation Scheme by the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) would soon be made to face stiff sanctions.
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, who stressed the need for the NSITF management to come hard on defaulters during a departmental briefing with the management team in his office in Abuja, said there is need to review the Employees Compensation Scheme Act 2010 to include more stringent penalties for employers who fail to register of their employees in the Scheme.
While revealing why non-compliance can no longer be tolerated, the Minister lamented that the level of compliance is still low after over four years of implementation. He said he has yet to hear of prosecution of employers for non-compliance.
The Minister urged the NSITF management to make a business case of the scheme to the
Governors’ Forum, stressing that it would be a more effective way to get the states come on board.
He said: “We have no option but to push the ECS to performance level. There is no doubt that the idea is a great one. We must however ensure that Nigerians feel the positive impact of this initiative. I think that the management has to engage the governor through the Governors Forum so that we can explain the advantages of this scheme to governors.
I believe that stipend to be paid on employees salaries are small to the advantages that the Scheme gives to workers especially when they are injured in the course of work. I believe every governor would be happy to hear about the numerous advantages that their workers stand to benefit by joining the Schme. Therefore, the management must find a way to speak to all the governors at their forum through presentations on what the Scheme is all about. It is not acceptable that no employer has been sanctioned for non-compliance especially when cases or non-compliance abound. This must change.”
Ngige further observed that the operations of the Fund could be further enhanced through an inter-agency collaboration with agencies like National Directorate for Employment (NDE), noting that such collaboration could
He noted that the Fund has installed computer software that would greatly enhance its operations through a partnership with Oracle systems, saying the computerization project has earned the Fund an ISO 27001:2013 certification.
He explained that the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Turin, Italy, continually train NSITF staff on to global best practice in social security, stressing that available data speaks volume to how much the Fund has delivered in terms of claims and benefits in response to claim requests submitted to it.