By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has said that the Fund has so far expended over N1 billion to cater for the victims of occupational accidents in the country.
Speaking during the commencement of the safety awareness campaign to mark this year’s World for Safety and Health at Work in Abuja Thursday, the General Manager of the Health and Safety Department, Kelly Nwagha, said the NSITF has committed huge resources and energy in addressing the safety of the country’s workforce and in taking care of those that got injured.
Nwagha, who represented the Managing Director and the Chief Executive Officer of NSITF at the function, said over N1 billion had been spent in the past five years to treat workers who sustained injuries while performing their duties and to compenstate others that were incapacitated.
“We have been doing a lot to carter for victims and we have paid about N1 billion as compensation to victims of occupational hazard in the last five years,” he said.
He said that the current management of the Fund has made it a point duty to ensure that any worker that gets injured while performing his or her duties is taken care of, adding that accidents should be prevented from happening.
Nwagha also said that NSITF had taken care of hospital expenses of those workers who sustained injuries and have been hospitalised.
“When it comes to providing for those who got injured in the course of work, we have in the last few months provided for persons who had their limbs chopped off with prostheses. We have also been paying claims and compensations to those who either got injured in their work place or when they are coming to work and they cannot get back to their optimal level.
“For those who lost their spouses in the course of work, we have also paid compensations to them,” he said.
Nwagha listed sectors where risk of occupational hazard has been high to include workers in the construction and manufacturing outfits.
NSITF is an institution charged under the Employees Act (ECA) 2010 to not only compensate workers who are injured in the course of work, but to pursue efforts aimed at preventing workplace disabilities.
Nwagha explained that the aim of Thursday’s campaign was to create awareness and mobilise support towards preventing occupational accidents and diseases in all aspects of work.
The awareness campaign saw NSITF workers embark on sensitisation of various entities in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.