Compensation scheme to strengthen rehabilitation of injured workers

THE Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Scheme (NSITF) plans to strengthen its treatment and rehabilitation of injured workers, it Managing Director, Umar Abubakar has said.

Speaking when he paid a courtesy visit to the management of the National Teachers’ Institute (NTI) in Kaduna, Abubakar stressed that NSITF does not stop at paying compensation to injured works, but treat and rehabilitate them where necessary. 

The NSITF boss explained that the Fund also creates an atmosphere where injured workers do not become a burden to family members after treatment in a case where the injury does not allow such an employee perform his previous duties.

His words: “Once an employee is covered, the employer does not need to bother with any treatment or payment. NSITF takes care of everything from medical treatment to rehabilitation if there is need for it. It also pays handsome benefits to a deceased employee’s spouse for the life of that spouse as long as he/she does not remarry, or to the child till age 21 or when the child graduates from a tertiary institution.”

He emphasized the need for teachers in the country to benefit from the ECS especially in the face of the insurgencies in some parts of the country.

Abubakar revealed that the Fund has the backing of the Law to ensure employers comply with the Scheme but was quick to add that NSITF management under his watch is using dialogue approach as the first option.

Assuring the management of NTI that they were already covered by the Scheme as the Federal Government has paid for all its employees, the NSITF Managing Director called on the Institute to compel other employers in the education sector to key into the programme.

“We want to collaborate with your Institute to reach every employer of teachers,” he stated.

Receiving the NSITF team, Director General of the Institute, Dr. Aminu Sharehu, commended NSITF for its interest in teachers, expressing willingness to partner with the Fund in ensuring compliance to the ECS.

Sharehu reiterated NTI’s resolve to protect teachers in Nigeria, saying the institute would do its best to ensure that employers in the sector are duly sensitized and advised.

He said: “NTI trains teachers so they have trust in us. By the time we have the opportunity to talk with them, they will understand.”

He suggested similar visits by the NSITF to the Universal Basic Education (UBEC) at the federal level and all the SUBECs at the states level, as well as the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), saying, “they have a role in issues to do with teachers in the country and these are strong organs that are key to teachers’ activities.”

In a related development, the NSITF boss has urged the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) to assist the Fund in ensuring that employees in the health sector are covered by the Employees’ Compensation Scheme (ECS).

Abubakar, who has been leading a team of management staff of the Fund on an enforcement drive, told the Council that it is paramount for medical practitioners all over the country to benefit from the Scheme especially given the nature of their practice.

In a meeting with the Council in Abuja recently, Abubakar reiterated the Fund’s willingness to carry out exhaustive interactive sessions with practitioners in the health sector.

He described the Employees’ Compensation Scheme as a revolution introduced under the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government. It replaced the defunct Workman Compensation Act of 1942 as amended.

“The current Scheme is much more beneficial as it covers all workers in the Federation, whether private or public,” he explained.

The MD, while stating that the Scheme is robust, assured that the Fund is poised to serve and would not fail the Federal Government, employers and their employees.

Responding, the Registrar/CEO of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Dr. Abdulmumini Ibrahim, stated that his Council is a law-abiding body and will ensure compliance with the ECS.

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