By Obioma C. Appolos
Towards enlightening the general public especially employers and employees across Nigeria the more, the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), recently spelled out why it is sacrosanct for every working place to key into the Fund’s Employees’ Compensation Scheme (ECS).
In a presentation by its Deputy General Manager (Claims&Compensation) Nkiru Ogunnaike, at a media workshop in Lagos, the Fund, thus stated that ; “Administration of claims and compensation is central to NSITF’s overall activities.”
And in details, the presentation explained; “In the event of injury, disability or death of an employee, an employers who is registered under the Scheme expect that their contributions would translate into financial benefits.
“Service Delivery in the Fund is therefore measured precisely by how much these expectations are met or not met. Section 1 of the ECA 2010 provides for an open and fair system of guaranteed and adequate compensation scheme. Hence, Compensation processing and payment is a major component of the Scheme.”
Onward, the question is: What are the available compensation under the scheme? “The Employees Compensation Act 2010 provides for the following: Compensation for Injuries and Loss of Productivity to Employers, Compensation for Disabilities & Death, Compensation for Occupational Diseases, Compensation for Mental stress, Compensation for Hearing impairment, Compensation for Enemy warlike actions or counteractions Rehabilitation, and Counseling Services.”
The next question is; In whose Interest is ECS: the Employer, the Employee or the Government? “The ECS is established for the benefit of the Employers, Employees, also Governments (Federal, State & Local level) and the society at large when compared with the repealed WCA.”
What would employers benefit from the ECS? “It will relieve the employer of the heavy burden of solely taking care of injured worker (Medical Expenses Refunds). Maintains payment of compensation to the injured worker even after ceasation of business by the employer. Payment to the injured worker is made regularly without recourse to the employer, no matter the amount of liability. Increased productivity from the workforce.
What benefit is ECS to the government? “Status of Nigeria will improve in the league of nations (being a member of ILO) that cares for her workers in the workplace. Socio-economic development would be created by a pool of investible funds. Industrial peace would be promoted, thus enhancing economic development. Improved quality of life through prompt response to health challenges at workplace. Other favourable spin-off effects like creation of employment, high productivity (etc).”
What does the ECS benefit the employees? “Through prompt payment of compensation (Death Benefits, Disability Benefits and Provision of prosthesis et al)
“On death benefits; In the event of death, family, beneficiaries are taken care of until the last child attains the age of 21 years or graduates from university (whichever comes first).
“The ECS guarantees continued provision of shelter, education, food etc in a nut shell basic requirements of life.
There are Three Hundred & Fifty-Four (354) dependant beneficiaries on our monthly payroll as at April, 2019.
“We have processed over Nine Thousand dependant/ survivor benefits amounting to Over One Billion Naira paid from inception (July, 2011) till date. (This includes arrears, One-Off Lump Sun and Monthly payments)
“Disability benefits: Assessment of injured employees to ascertain the extent of disability by qualified medical personnel. Monthly disability benefit is paid until the employee attains the age of 55 years in addition to the existing salary paid by the employer if the employee is still in service after the incident/accident.
“Contribution to PFA (Pension Fund Administrator) for the employees after attaining 55yrs in accordance to the provisions of Pension Reforms Act, 2004. There are Four Hundred & Forty-Fifty-Two (452) disability beneficiaries on our monthly payroll as at April, 2019.
“We have processed over Eleven Thousand disability benefits amounting to Over Two Hundred Million Naira paid from inception (July, 2011) till date. (This includes arrears, One-Off Lump Sum and Monthly payments)”
On the highest beneficiaries under the ECS so far, the Fund stated; “A dependant beneficiary of a staff of a Brewery Company who died as a result of chemical asphyxiation has so far received a cumulative dependant benefits of N69,730,979.12 with a monthly benefit of N1,584,794.98. This is an entitlement of the spouse (wife) till the last child attains 21 years of age in May 2034.
“An Oil & Gas Servicing Company staff drowned in a ferry accident. His spouse, the dependant beneficiary is on our monthly payroll with a monthly beneht of N1,348,886.48 and has so far received a cummulative death beneht of N64,746,551.04. This benefit ends when her last child attains 21 years of age in April, 2029.
“The beneficiary (spouse) of an employee of Oil & Gas Company who died upon a fall into the sea has received till date a cummulative sum of N34,225,060.38 as death benefit her monthly benefit stands at N1,629,764.78. This will terminates as when the last child reaches 21 years in September, 2020.
“A benehciary of an Oil & Gas Company who was involved in an Helicopter crash received an arrears of disability benefit of N34,039,194.31. He is currently on a monthly benefit of N791,609.17 (100% Disability rating). This benefit ends when he attains the age of 55.
“An Haulage Company employee has so far received a cummulative disability beneht of N13,567,619.05 and on our monthly payroll in the sum N276,890.17.”
NSITF also stated that as at April 2019, it has paid total of 9,250 persons the sum N1,102,098,433.30 in death benefits, N920,063,122.16 to 5,395 persons on medical expenses refund (mer), N265,432,012.84 to 11,305 disability benefits, N33,417,984.54 to 2,035 persons for loss of productivity, amounting to N2,321,011,552.84 to a total number of 27,985 persons across the country.