Implementation of compensation scheme enhances Nigeria’s rating at ILO
The implementation of the Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS) by Nigeria has improved the rating of the country within the International Labour Organization (ILO) members, the Acting Managing Director of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Ismail Agaka has said.
Agaka stated that the no-fault social security scheme of the Federal Government which the law mandates the Fund to implement, has the potential of improving quality of life of Nigerian workers through prompt response to health challenges at workplace, adding that the status of the country has improve in the league of member nations of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
He also described social security as a tool that can contribute to social coherence and boost the country’s overall growth and development by bolstering living standards and cushioning the effects of structural and technological change on the people.
Agaka, in a presentation at the NSITF regional and branch Managers’ retreat held in Abuja recently, emphasized that social security has the potential of providing the basis for a more inclusive approach towards globalization.
He said: “Social security helps maintain stable labour relations and a productive work force. It also provides workers and their families with access to health care and protection against loss of income due to invalidity or employment injury.”
He further explained that the Scheme relieves the employer of the heavy burden of solely taking care of injured workers thereby increasing productivity of the workforce, stressing that while payment of compensation is prompt, claims procedures are simplified and short and long term follow-up and rehabilitation are guaranteed.
Explaining the operations of the ECS, the NSITF Acting MD said the scheme provides comprehensive compensation to employees who suffer from occupational diseases or sustain injuries or disabilities at workplaces or in the course of employment, emphasizing that it also provides succour to the dependants of employees who die in the course of work.
Reiterating that the scheme is at no cost to the employee, Agaka maintained that ECS provides an open and fair system of guaranteed and adequate compensation for all employees or their dependants for any death, injury, disease or disability arising or in the course of work. He added that the scheme also combines efforts and resources of relevant stakeholders for the prevention of workplace disabilities, including the enforcement of occupational safety and health standards.
Describing the ECS as a contingent social security which provides comprehensive compensation to employees who suffer from occupational diseases or sustain injuries arising from accidents at workplaces or in the course of work, the NSITF boss explained that available compensations under the scheme include compensation for death and injury, for mental stress, for occupational diseases, hearing impairment, and for injuries occurring outside of normal workplace among others.
Earlier, while declaring the meeting open, the NSITF Chief Executive had called on staff of the Fund to ensure prompt payment of claims and compensations, stressing that the Fund and Scheme were set up for that purpose.
He stressed the need to review performance of activities of the Fund, adding that there is no room for underperformance at NSITF.
His words: “There is no excuse for underperformance in the implementation of the Employees’ Compensation Scheme because we are not responsible to ourselves. We have stakeholders who are interested in seeing that we deliver.”
He emphasized that NSITF and ECS were not set up to service the staff of the Fund alone, adding, “we should bear in mind that we are trustees and our business is to manage the resources we are entrusted with very well and answer all the questions that people ask.”
He charged the staff of the Fund to shun all actions that could undermine professionalism in the Fund and called on them to plan ahead for the greater good of the Nigerian employees.
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