The Federal Government has release the N1.5 billion take of grant for the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) under the Employee Compensation Scheme and the Federal Government Employee contribution.
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu who disclosed this during the House Committee on Labour Employment and Productivity visit to the ministry, said the take-off grant would facilitate the implementation of ECA.
The minister told the committee, led by its Chairman, Hon. Hon. Essian Ekpenyon Ayi, of the release of the take-off grant, even as the NSITF Acting Managing Director, Mr. Ibrahim Wakawa, asked for further support and assistance of the National Assembly to help the fund to carry out its responsibilities.
While speaking on the achievements of the ministry, Chief Wogu told the committee that the take-off grant of N1.5billion from the Federal Government and Federal Government Employee Contribution of N2.5billion has been received.
According to him, the 458 private sector employers have registered with pay up assessment of N400, 891,981.56, while 129 cases of Industrial accidents and injuries have been reported, most of which have been compensated by the Fund.
At the NSITF, the Chairman of the committee, Hon. Essien disclosed that the committee was on an oversight visit to the NSITF to listen to their challenges and problems the face in carrying out their responsibilities successfully.
The chairman said: “We come to see if there could be intervention from us to make you function and perform better in the interest of Nigeria. We know and acknowledge your crucial roles to workers, especially in the area of social security and compensation.
“We would like to embark on a tour to see your facilities, to know the challenges and know what is expected to do in respect of budgetary allocation,” he said.
The NSITF acting MD, Mr. Wakawa, said the fund was trying to position itself to actualise the responsibility given to it by the Act.
He said the NSITF will make integrity its core value, put in place financial prudence and accountability, and as well relentlessly pursue excellence and true public satisfaction.
“Our mandates are statutory. The Pension Act which was enacted by this Assembly in 2004 clearly stated in Section 72:1 that NSITF shall be providing Nigerian citizens with social security services in accordance with the NSITF Act as amended.”
He said that with the enactment of the Employees Compensation Act in 2010, the Fund had established a Health Maintenance Organisation HMO (ProHealth HMO limited) to key into the health provision services.
Mr. Wakawa said the Fund had also designed some youth empowerment programmes, “which we also designed in the informal sector, because the larger part of the society are in the informal sector, because when talking of social security, only those in the formal sector are taken into consideration.”
He stated that Lack of data had bedevilled planning and programmes in the country, and as a result, the Fund had developed a platform to identify and have data on the categories of people targeted for the various programmes.
He said with the data bank, they would be able to plan and provide for the target people, adding that the NSITF would not dabble into anything without appropriate research and data.