Chairman, Board of Directors of NSITF, Dr. Ngozi Olejeme
Linda Eroke writes on efforts by the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) to champion the awareness campaign for Operational Safety and Health (OSH) culture among employers
Recently, the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) held its maiden National Workplace Safety Awareness Day/Award Ceremony. The campaign project is part of the intervention programme aimed at promoting safe workplace and reducing industrial hazards across the country.
The importance of prevention of occupational risks and promoting workers’ health as a dynamic social security issue has been further emphasised by the International Social Security Association (ISSA) where, through various studies and researches, it has shown that prevention is more profitable than administering compensation and rehabilitation for the injured employees.
In line with the Seoul Declaration of ‘Promoting a preventive safety and health culture at workplace’, Nigeria is making efforts at ensuring the development and sustainability of such culture in workplaces.
Chairman, Board of Directors of NSITF, Dr. Ngozi Olejeme, who dropped this hint at the enlightenment campaign in Lagos, said the Federal Government was working very hard towards ensuring the promotion of safety at work. She noted that the Occupational Safety Bill before the National Assembly has passed through third reading in both chambers of the Senate and House of Representatives.
She explained that the bill, when signed into law, would assist NSITF in strengthening the collaborative efforts it is making along other stakeholders towards enshrining the culture of safety at workplaces.
“This ceremony marks the beginning of some of the major activities we are planning to execute with respect to safety awareness at the workplace.
“I am happy to report that the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu was among the over 40 ministers of Labour from all over the world that signed the Istanbul Declaration during the 19th World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, which took place in Istanbul, Turkey in September 2011.
“I am strongly hopeful that by the time the 20th World Congress on Safety and Health in Workplace in 2014 in Frankfurt, Germany where Nigeria will be reporting a lot on the progress she has made,” she said.
Olejeme commended NECA for living up to expectations on its role of vigorously pursuing its mandate, especially its mode of intervention in public policies that affect employers and employees. She noted that by collaborating with NSITF in this cause, NECA is sharing the burden of positioning the Fund as an organisation that offers not only compensation and rehabilitation services but also proactive preventive services.
She specifically praised the untiring efforts of NECA in ensuring that the NSITF and employers generally develop good working relationship over the implementation of Employee Compensation Scheme (ECS).