DG, NECA, Segun Oshinowo
By Linda Eroke
Not less than 804 employers have so far registered with the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) for the implementation of the Employees’ Compensation Scheme enacted by the federal government.
The employees’ compensation scheme requires that employers pay a minimum contribution of 1 per cent of total monthly payroll into the Fund for the first two years; thereafter, the rate of contribution will depend on the risk rating of the employer.
At an interactive session between the Nigeria Employers ’Consultative Association (NECA) and the NSITF in Lagos, Director Nigeria of NECA, Dr. Segun Oshinowo, appealed to the management of NSITF to reconsider the take-off date for implementation of the scheme to January 2012 and write off the debt of employers who were yet to remit their contributions in 2011.
Oshinowo further tasked the NSITF on transparency and accountability in the discharge of its responsibility particularly the effective management of funds contributed by employers.
He warned that employers that would stop the remittance of contributions to the fund should the NSITF fail to meet the expectations for which the fund was set up.
Specifically, he listed three conditions which the NSITF must meet for employers to remit their contributions into the fund.
“Employers would demand from the fund performance in return for money contributed because the issue of governance had been a major problem confronting Nigeria. Therefore management efficiency and effectiveness is the key in this regard. The fund had no choice but to perform if it must get the support of employers in the implementation of the scheme.
Secondly, we are demanding from NSITF good structures required for the operations of the scheme since the fund is demanding speedy remittance of the money deducted, NSITF should on its part provide a definite timeline for payment of compensation to employers whose employees sustain injuries and apply for claims. Thirdly, there must be continuous constructive engagement of employers and this must be sustained,” Oshinowo said.
In his presentation, NSITF Executive Director Administration, Mr. Ibrahim Wakawa, said that the NSITF had already met all the conditions listed by NECA.
Wakawa, who acknowledged that some employers had been remitting their contributions to the fund appealed to those who were yet to register and remit their contributions to do so for effective management of the scheme.
Wakawa said though emphasis was still on voluntary compliance with the Act by employers, he however, reminded those defaulting in the payment of their contributions of the legal implications of their action.
He disclosed that 11 banks had been appointed as contribution banks, from which an employer could make a choice.
He listed the banks to include Skye Bank Plc, FCMB Plc, Zenith Bank, GT Bank and UBA. Others include Fidelity Bank Plc, Unity Bank Plc, First Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Enterprise Bank and Union Bank Plc