The administration of President Goodluck Jonathan is set to put a halt to the disturbing trend of non-compensation of employees involved in work-place accidents. Already, the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has concluded plans to implement Employee Compensation Scheme (ECS) across the country.
According to the chairperson of the board of NSITF, Dr Ngozi Olejeme, while speaking in Abuja at the weekend, through the ECS, NSITF was involved in compensation management for Nigerian workers. She said that everything possible was being done to guarantee a workable social insurance programme for all categories of workers.
Olejeme also pointed out that a joint committee, whose membership comprises Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and NSITF officials, had been constituted to effect the social welfare scheme for the workers. The eight-man committee would also carry out regular auditing of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) infrastructure, structure and personnel in contributing companies and would examine the extent of compliance with OSH standards across the country.
Her words: “Some Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) experts believe about 50 million Nigerians are at risk in the work place. The International Institute of Risk and Safety Management, Nigeria’s chapter, for instance, also says 200 workplace fatalities occur daily in Nigeria. Scores of others are injured or permanently disabled. What used to get the government worried, if the incidents ever filtered out to the media, was the poor compensation plan or lack of one by the employers.”
“When OSH becomes much effective, the employer will benefit, the employee will benefit and government will also benefit. So it is social security initiative for the society, ultimately no one will be left untouched… Category of injuries covered under the scheme includes injury within a normal workplace. In circumstances like this, compensation is payable to a worker who suffers any disabling injury arising out of or in the course of employment… We are following global best practices. Nigerians will enjoy the dividends of democracy. Studies are being conducted throughout Nigeria to capture the social needs of those outside the formal sector,” she added.