NECA seeks more NSITF funding to tackle post-COVID-19 challenges
As coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on global economies, there is the need for both the Federal and state governments to fund the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF’s) Employees Compensation Scheme, and the entire social sector spectrum to prepare the country for post-COVID-19 social and economic challenges.
The Director-General, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Timothy Olawale, explained that the inadequate funding of the social sector and lack of reliable data are formidable threats to the ability of the Nigerian economy to withstand economic and social shocks during emergencies.
His words: “The challenge confronting the model Nigeria adopted regarding the NSITF is that the Federal Government is not investing in social protection of its people. State governments are also not serious about deepening spending on social protection of their people. The Federal Government should fund the NSITF efficiently. As it is now, it is the private sector that is funding it. The Federal Government does not meet its funding obligations regularly. The Fund is supposed to protect both the private and public workers.
“Therefore, if there is an emergency confronting public workers, what happens? How will the Federal Government respond when it is not funding the NSITF the way it ought to? Where will it run to? Then, it will adopt the same stop-gap solutions to the challenge. That is the system we are running today as a country to confront the COVID-19, because there is no social infrastructure that has been established in preparedness for this kind of emergency. That is why we have uncoordinated approach that does not guarantee the delivery of targeted expectations because we were not prepared.”
Olawale insisted that adequate funding of social sector is very critical in preparing for social emergencies such as COVID-19.
He added: “One of the lessons COVID-19 has taught us as a nation is the need to fund social sector as part of preparedness for social emergencies. The truth of the matter is that emergencies will not warn us ahead.
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