NSITF to expand Social Security Net in 2024

The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) will create new branches and service centres in 2024 to expand social services to the doorstep of all Nigerians in line with the social inclusion standards of the ILO Convention 102.



Assuring Nigerian workers of better days, the Managing Director of the NSITF, Maureen Allagoa in a New Year message by the Fund’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Nwachukwu Godson, said the agency will consolidate its 2023 achievements while expanding the percentage of the population protected by social security scheme.



“we are expanding our operations into the informal sector and other unreached areas in dire need of our services so as to save more people from lacerating social conditions.



“We will create new branches to this end as well as build service delivery centers to be activated in select regions as pilot, in the first quarter of 2024. The focus is to reach Nigerians in the remote hinterland while reducing commuting distance for our staff members”Allagoa explained,



She stated that with the delivery of social security benefits under different compensation packages to over 103,000 beneficiaries in the past years, the NSITF under her management has certainly placed its duck in a row for the New Year.



She clarified further, “we are poised to cover more areas of succor and reliefs to the victims of workplace accidents or their dependents in line with our mandate. But it is important to point out that this number, 103,000 beneficiaries, does not include 11 injured workers, whose conditions were so severe they couldn’t be treated in Nigeria and had to be flown abroad and over one hundred workers who had to be provided with artificial limbs.



“It does not also include the 670 dependent beneficiaries and 852 disability beneficiariescurrently on our monthly payroll, besides a number of deceased dependents under our care, pending the graduation of their last child from higher institution or attains 21 years of age.



“These are visible achievements which form the base of our plans for the New Year, of course, encouraged by the wider operation coverage as well as challenges occasioned by the directive of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, following FEC approval, that all the MDAs comply with the mandatory Employees’ Compensation contributions,” Allagoa enthused.



Fully aware of the central place occupational safety and health of the ILO Convention C155 occupies in the Employees’ Compensation Scheme, the Managing Director said that at the heart of the NSITF’s plan of action for 2024 is the increase in workplace accident prevention, with an expected 1,344 inspections and trainings. According to her, this is to reduce risk at work, promote a healthy workforce and enhance national productivity.



“Our plan is to conduct one thousand three hundred and forty-four(1,344) workplace inspections and accident prevention trainings, at an average of two exercises in a month from our 56 branches,” she added.




Speaking on poverty reduction and the mandate of the NSITF, Allagoa revealed that the NSITF will tap areas of the ILO Convention 102 on old age benefits, unemployment and family benefits, saying that timelines have been set for the expansion of the agency’s corporate social responsibility programmes on skills acquisition and empowerment. According to her, the fund is optimistic of championing the poverty reduction mantra of the President Tinubu Eight Point Agenda.






Commending the staff of the NSITF for resilience and the extra mile in contributing to the successes of the current management, Allagoa promised a better deal.




“We have commenced the payment of N35,000 wage award and will not relent. We have reviewed the Staff Conditions of Service and implemented new consolidated salary structure, equally mindful of the inbuilt, phased benefits to staff. We have upgraded our healthcare plan and scheduled robust capacity training programmes for every staff member in 2024.




“Our strategic communication reforms have opened up avenues and platforms for thorough ventilation of every staff matter in line with the social dialogue principle of the ILO




“The Performance Management System beginning January 2024 will be utilized to identify and reward outstanding individual staff, branches, and regions in the key areas of contribution collection, ethical conduct and teamwork, among others.




The Managing Director who recounted various challenges that face the fund, however insisted that the “NSITF stands at the threshold of social and economic change, and poised to overcome its challenges as the custodian of social security.”




She went further, “yet, amidst our accomplishments, we are grappling with challenges impeding the fulfillment of our mandate, one of which is the deduction of 40% amounting to N1.4bn from employer contributions by the Ministry of Finance as an operating surplus in line with the Fiscal Responsibility and Finance Act of 2020, despite the fact that the NSITF is not a revenue-generating agency.




“The NSITF is a tripartite agency holding funds-contributions in trust for the benefit of employees under the ECS and without an operating surplus. The NSITF is also not treasury-funded and does not draw from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation and ought to be removed from the schedule of the Fiscal responsibility Act.”



According to Allagoa, even though the SGF’s circular on compulsory implementation of the ECS in all the MDAs has been issued, concerted effort is needed to actualize it and as well, clear the arrears of contributions from 2012.

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