NLC tasks FG on implementation of Employees Compensation Act
THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has commended the Federal Government for the enactment of the Employees Compensation Act (ECA 2010), pointing out that the challenge is to make the law to work.
“The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) should wake up to justify its statutory mandate,” the NLC said on Tuesday at a press conference in Kaduna to mark the 2015 World Day for Safety and Health.
The NLC Deputy President, Comrade Issa Aremu, who stood in for the union’s President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, said that, “we call on the incoming administration of General Muhammadu Buhari to reposition the NSIFT for effective discharge of its mandate.
He said: “The ECA should be strengthened to cover workers who lost their lives in terror-related violence.There must be increased synergy between the NSITF and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, particularly the Factories Inspectorate Division and the relevant departments in the Ministry of Health, the trade unions and the employers in promoting health and safety education, awareness and healthy and safe work practices”.
“We call on the Ministry of Labour to enforce our occupational health and safety laws and prosecute employers that violate the laws. “We demand strong international Health and Safety standards in our workplaces and by extension all workplaces in Nigeria”.
“On this occasion, we restate our collective commitment to strengthen workplace action in promoting and fighting for health and safety issues.”
Quoting the International Labour Organisation, the NLC regretted that one worker dies every 15 seconds worldwide, 6000 workers everyday and more than two million workers die annually as a result of work related accidents and diseases.
According to the NLC, “the ILO estimates that occupational accidents and diseases result in annual four per cent loss in global gross domestic product (GDP) or about 2.8 trillion US dollars in direct and indirect cost of injuries and diseases.”
“In Nigeria, in recent years, there had been pockets of safety disasters as in the case of Boiler explosion in a distillery company in Otta in which two young workers lost their lives.
“In September last year, a young worker lost his life at Lynda Manufacturing in the Iju area of Lagos and there are several cases of bodily injuries some reported to the union and several others happening in non-unionized workplaces with very little support and compensation for affected workers.