NSITF, BPP to collaborate on implementation of compensation scheme
• To raise team on enforcement
The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) have pledged to work closely to ensure the success of the Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS).
Speaking at a meeting with the two organizations in Abuja, the Acting Managing Director of NSITF, Ismail Agaka, explained that the Fund is moving swiftly to ensure that all government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) comply with a circular from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, David Babachir, directing all MDAs in the country to ensure compliance with the ECS as contained in the law setting up the Scheme.
He explained that his management team came to solicit support from the BPP to insist that contract bidders provide certificate of ECS compliance duly issued by NSITF as a prerequisite for tender.
He also requested the BPP to list NSITF on its website, saying it would help inform prospective bidders that ECS compliance is a pre-condition to tender. He further clarified that compliance is for all employers in public and private sectors of the economy with the exemption of the armed forces.
However, Agaka was quick to explain that NSITF is available for further negotiations with BPP whenever the need arises.
In his remarks, the Acting Director General of BPP, Ahmed Abdul, assured BPP’s readiness to assist NSITF in whatever capacity since relevant law backs the Scheme. He suggested a technical working committee comprising five members from each party be set up to work out modalities in order to arrive at terms and conditions of engagement.
He added: “We shall give all the necessary support. Since the ECS is backed by law, we have to comply.”
He promised to liaise with the Office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation to update the current circular on compliance last issued by that office.
The BPP Director General stated that by 2017, his agency would make it mandatory for contractors to comply with the ECS in order to qualify for contract award, while NSITF would be included in its database.
He, however, enjoined the Fund to embark on an aggressive publicity campaign to educate Nigerians about ECS, saying as an interested party, the BPP would on its part monitor the publicity drive.
He advised NSITF to establish a robust ICT on which platform BPP could authenticate documents supplied by its bidders, asking the Fund to supply BPP with its Regulations and Act to understudy.
Providing a brief background to the operations of the Fund, the Acting Chief Executive of NSITF, said that the NSITF is working with a total payroll of one per cent of total emolument of the employee, contributory by the employer and that the employee does not have to contribute.
He further highlighted that the core values of the Scheme remain compensation, rehabilitation and counselling.