By Paul Obi in Abuja

As the implementation of the Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS) by the federal government takes full steam, the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) yesterday said the scheme had improved the rating of Nigeria within the International Labour Organisation (ILO) members.

NSITF Acting Managing Director, Ismail Agaka, made this known at retreat organised by the corporation in Abuja.
He said the implementation had given the country a leap within the ILO operations, such that Nigeria is now seen as a better example in employees’ compensation programme.

Agaka maintained that government policy of no-fault social security scheme of which the law mandates the fund to implement is potentially improving quality of life of Nigerian workers through prompt response to health challenges at workplace, stressing that,  Nigeria’s standing has improve across board in the eyes of ILO.
The acting MD explained that the ECS which is fashioned out as social security helps in promoting social coherence, scaling up the country’s overall growth and development by bolstering living standards and cushioning the effects of economic change in the country

He said: “Social security helps maintain stable labour relations and a productive work force. It also provides workers and their families with access to health care and protection against loss of income due to invalidity or employment injury.
“There is no excuse for underperformance in the implementation of the Employees’ Compensation Scheme because we are not responsible to ourselves. We have stakeholders who are interested in seeing that we deliver.
“We should bear in mind that we are trustees and our business is to manage the resources we are entrusted with very well and answer all the questions that people ask,” he said.

Agaka contended that the scheme relieves the employer of the heavy burden of solely taking care of injured workers thereby increasing productivity of the workforce, through simplified procedures and short and long term follow-up and rehabilitation of victims.
He further stated that ECS contingent as a provides “comprehensive compensation to employees who suffer from occupational diseases or sustain injuries arising from accidents at workplaces or in the course of work.”