NSITF unveils fresh plans to enforce employees’ scheme compliance
The Managing Director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Adebayo Somefun, has said that any employer who desires to compete for government contracts would from henceforth be required to present his Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS) compliance certificate.
He disclosed this during a visit to NSITF’s Lagos regional office, where he decried the nonchalant attitude of employers to comply with the provisions of the ECS law.
He, however, lauded the Director General of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Olusegun Oshinowo, for his support and the inroads so far made in the implementation of the scheme.
“The management of NSITF is working on making the NSITF Compliance Certificate compulsory for all employers who are interested in bidding for government contracts.
“It is working with major stakeholders to ensure that NSITF Compliance Certificate becomes a major requirement at important government offices. This would go a long way in ensuring strict compliance and thereby lessen the burden on enforcement teams.”
Somefun expressed concern that employers were treating the implementation of ECS with laxity compared to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) due to lack of prosecution or closure of business premises.
He said although NSITF does not have the powers to seal up company premises, it has powers to enforce compliance.
While instructing the regional office to update him on the challenges inhibiting compliance, Somefun requested for necessary circulars on enforcement from the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and Office of the Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF).
He unveiled a four-point agenda that would guide the management to include: consolidating the achievement of the previous administrations and improving on the existing systems; raising the revenue base to effectively meet statutory responsibilities; rebranding NSITF through aggressive publicity campaign to improve acceptance and motivation of staff through improved welfare provisions.
General Manager, Lagos regional Office, Olufunke Aleshinloye, explained that the NSITF was presently gathering records needed for the prosecution of defaulters.
She stressed the need for the management to work assiduously to reduce the period for the computation of claims as this was causing disquiet in the companies that are contributing to the scheme.
Speaking, Oshinowo said in spite of stakeholders’ efforts, there are still many employers and state governments that were yet to comply with the provisions of the ECS.
He noted that the compensation of an injured employee should be a justiciable right of every employee and should not be based on contribution by the employer.
Oshinowo also pointed out that the ECS fund ought to be separated from the NSITF fund, and the stakeholders should determine the percentage of the ECS fund that would be allowed for administrative expenses.
He added that NSITF’s Independent Investment Committee should be allowed to function effectively whether or not its board was in place.