ABUJA—THE Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has advised the management of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, to take the Employees Compensation Scheme, ECS, to the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, for them to know the benefits of the scheme.
Speaking during a department briefing with the management team in his office in Abuja, weekend, Senator Ngige called for a review of the ECS Act 2010, to include stiff penalties for employers that failed to register their employees on the scheme.
The minister, who stressed the need for the NSITF management to come hard on defaulters, lamented that the level of compliance was low after over four years of implementation, even as he regretted that he had not heard of any prosecution of employers for non-compliance.
He told the management of NSITF 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.
According to him: “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 governors through the Governors’ Forum so that we can explain the advantages of this scheme to them. I believe that the 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 scheme.
“It is not acceptable that no employer has been sanctioned for non-compliance especially when cases or non-compliance abound. This must change.”
Speaking earlier, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of- NSITF, Umar Abubakar told the minister some of the challenges confronting the Fund which include lack of comprehensive data on all employees on government’s payroll and non-compliance by state governments and many organizations in the private sector of the economy.
Abubakar disclosed that the Fund has installed computer software that would greatly enhance its operations through a partnership with Oracle systems, pointing out that the computerization project had earned the Fund an ISO 27001:2013 certification.
He said that the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Turin, Italy, continually train NSITF staff on the global best practice in social security, stressing that available data speaks volume to how much the Fund had delivered in terms of claims and benefits in response to claim requests submitted to it.