OLEJEME, NSITF AND SOCIAL PROTECTION
Dr. Ngozi Olejeme possesses charm, class, beauty, elegance and a caring sensibility.
Mention Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and immediately it conjures images among Nigerians of this very energetic woman. NSITF has become a leading public organization in the country.
It didn't take long for Dr. Olejeme to make her mark. A woman seeking ways of bettering workers collective interest, Olejeme's leadership skills saw to the emergence of the Employees' Compensation Act (ECA).
The enactment of the Employees' Compensation Act (ECA) 2010 which repealed the obsolete Workmen's Compensation Act (WCA) of 1942 is of immense importance to the workers of Nigeria as the scheme has achieved tremendous success.
Well amongst the objective of the Employees' Compensation Act (ECA), 2010 is to provide for an open and fair system of guaranteed and adequate compensation for all employees or their dependants for any death, injury, diseases or disability arising out of or in the course of employment as well as provide rehabilitation to employees with work-related disabilities as provided in the Act.
The Act also gives the opportunity to establish and maintain a solvent compensation fund managed in the interest of employees and employers, provide for fair and adequate assessments for employers, provide an appeal procedure that is simple, fair and accessible, with minimal delays as well as combine efforts and resources of relevant stakeholders for the prevention of workplace disabilities, including the enforcement of occupational safety and health standards.
What many regard as a phenomenal feat, NSITF) is currently paying compensation to injured workers, treating and rehabilitating them where necessary. It is paying handsome benefits to a deceased employee's spouse for the life of that spouse as long as he/she does not remarry, or to the child till age 21 or when the child graduates from a tertiary institution. The fund is also saddled with the responsibility of providing social security to the aged and unemployed.
Recently, the British Standard Institute awarded the ISO27001 certificate to NSITF, making it one of the leading social security institutions in Africa.
“With the certification, the agency has strategically endowed itself with values that repose stakeholders' confidence on the quality of what they get from the funds when they do business. We now have in place a system that can detect the minuet risk factors in our operations thereby reducing loss to its barest minimum. NSITF is proud to be among a very elite group of public institutions whose security practice and drive for excellence in its operations meet the rigorous iso27001 standard. Achieving this milestone makes the fund a leading social security institution in Africa. It is critical to the NSITF transformation roadmap. NSITF is happy to be a global best practice government institution embracing the highest echelon of standards that ensure efficiency and dependency of its operations as a result of its development of global standard information security mechanism” Olejeme said at the presentation ceremony in Abuja.
A stalwart champion of workers' pension and a highly caring person who loves pensioners profoundly, Olejeme wants the best for retirees. She is not only working relentlessly to make workers and pensioners financially independent but actively raising the quality of life for every worker by providing social security protection and safety nets for all Nigerians against deprivation and income insecurity in accordance with National and International laws, conventions and world best practices.
Though Labour analysts are quick to praise Olejeme for establishing a system of transparency, strengthening NSITF and providing adequate operational infrastructure, Dr. Olejeme is doing everything possible to provide social protection against the risk of sickness, disability, injury, unemployment and old age.
NO EMPLOYMENT EXERCISE BY NSITF IN 2010
The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has said that it did not carry out any employment exercise in 2010.
This was a reaction to an earlier report that the members of staff of the Fund were being owed allowances since their recruitment in 2010.
“It is therefore obvious that if no employment was carried out in 2010, then NSITF cannot owe staff it did not employ,” a statement signed by the Deputy General Manager/Head, Corporate Affairs, Aliu Zubairu, stated.
The statement said employment into the Fund was carried out after the passage of the Employees' Compensation Act (ECA) in December 2010 in which a large number of staff were recruited and posted to all branches across the country.
On the alleged non-payment of 28 days allowance to staff, the statement said it had not been a policy of the Fund to pay new recruits 28 days allowance.
“Only special assignments outside of domicile attract per diem in the Fund, never the case in a fresh employment,” the Fund said. Reacting on the non-payment of furniture, dressing and education allowances, the NSITF said payment had started in batches due to large number of recruits involved.
Writing by Alao Taiwo.