By Obioma C. Appolos
In a bid to ensure efficient and effective implementation of the Employees’ Compensation Act (ECA) 2010 and ensure its full compliance, the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) in collaboration with the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), have enjoined employers of labour across the country to adhere to a safe workplace environment, aiming at minimizing the rate of industrial accidents and to promote a safe workplace.
In his paper presentation at an interactive workshop put together by NSITF and NECA in Abuja recently, Barr Adebayo Somefun, the Managing Director of the Fund, explained that part of the statutory responsibility of NSITF is prevention of workplace disabilities, which he said includes the enforcement of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Standards in Work places, and the most important reason for establishing a Safe Workplace Intervention Project (SWIP).
“The Employees’ Compensation Act, (ECA), 2010, managed by the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSlTF), not only makes comprehensive provisions for the payment of compensation to employees or their dependants for any death, injury, disease or disability arising from accidents at workplace or in the course of employment, but very importantly provides for the combination of efforts and resources of relevant stakeholders for the prevention of workplace disabilities, including the enforcement of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Standards.
“Its provisions apply to employers and employees in both the Public and Private Sectors of the economy, irrespective of the number of employees an employer may have.
“However, despite the provision of a robust and adequate compensation for employees who sustain injuries in the course of their employment, the fact remains that employees would rather look forward to retiring in one piece than live with the agony of injuries for the rest of their lives. Consequently, the International Labour Organization, ILO, came out with a strong proposition on the three pillars of OSH, which are Prevention as a first step, followed by Rehabilitation and finally Compensation, which should all be taken together.
“Accordingly, in our commitment to enhance safety at all workplaces, NSITF and NECA are collaborating to ensure efficient and effective implementation of the Employees’ Compensation Act, (ECA), 2010 and ensure its full compliance. One of the instruments of this collaboration is the “NSITF-NECA Safe Workplace Intervention Project (SWIP)”, which is intended to minimize the rate of industrial accidents and promote a safe workplace.” His words.
Revealing some innovative steps taken by the Fund to fast tracking its services to the general public, Somefun stated, “NSITF is presently operating a 24/7 online real-time customer support services that involves the Branch ICT, HQ ICT and Ritesim Africa Support Team”.
“We also have EC4 PAY PORTAL. This is a one-stop shop for direct and instant employer engagement including registration, contribution payment and claims notification. Through this portal, new and returning employers can complete all these processes from the comfort of their offices without having to travel to any of our branches. To start using this portal, employers should visit https://pay.nsitf.ng.
“To further make employer interaction with the fund easier, we have now launched the electronic issuance of compliance certificates. Request for Compliance certificates can now be processed and completed within 24 to 48 hours and employers can now receive their yearly certificate of compliance in their email addresses. To enjoy this benefit, employers should ensure that they provide a valid email address when requesting for their compliance certificates at the various NSITF branches, nationwide.
“STEPS TO TAKE: The procedure to request for Certificate is as follows: Go to any NSITF branch. Submit a request for certificate on your letter head, along with your CAC certificate, proof of payment and staff schedule. You will get your compliance certificate in your email in 24 48 hours.
“An employer can also request for a hard copy of the certificate, along with the e-oopy. This will be despatched to the branch where the request is made from, in addition to the electronic certificate which will have been sent to your email. NSITF FOl PORTAL
“NSITF is presently, in full compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, enacted in 2011, to make public records and information more freely available, provide for public access to public records and information, amongst others. The public can now make Freedom of information requests from the NSITF from the funds website (www.nsitf.gov.ng) or through the funds FOl portal (www.nsitffoi.com.no).”