Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) have commenced the deliberation on how to effect some reviews to the employees’ compensation scheme, following new challenges thrown up by the emergence of Covid-19 globally.
This was disclosed yesterday at an interactive session between the NSITF management and Labour Correspondents in Abuja.
At the forum, meant to acquaint the media with the workings of the Fund, General Manager, Claims and Compensation, Barrister Nkiru Ogunnaike, stated that some of the contemporary challenges thrown up by the emergence of Covid-19 which might necessitate a review of the workplace compensation scheme is that a lot of workers in the formal sector now lay claims to having sustained injuries while working from home.
Beyond this, many formal sector workers also lay claims to have contacted COVID-19 while undergoing official duties, hence are entitled to full compensations.
According to Ogunnaike, most of the victims reporting for claims are those involved in road traffic accidents either on their way to work or back home.
She reiterated that there is a challenge on the part of NSITF to ascertain when and where such injuries might have occurred to qualify victims for compensation.
She noted that, “We all know about the Covid-19 pandemic and we are in talks with the ILO to push for legislation on claims especially when covid occurred in the course of work.
“For instance, we all know that working from home is still a norm now, we have had cases when people said they got injured while working from home, how do you establish whether an employee got injured from home.
“Most of our claims are on victims who had traffic accidents, these people come around to say they got injured on their way to work or from work, this is one area we will need collaboration with the security agencies like the police or road safety officials to actually ascertain where such incidents happened so as not to misappropriate the compensation on victims.”
Meanwhile, the NSITF said in the last four months, a total of N306,554,896.23 million have been paid out as claims and compensations to injured victims.
The NSITF Managing Director/Chief Executive, Dr Micheal Akabogu represented by Maureen Allagoa, explained that the compensations served as cover for medical expenses refund, loss of productivity, disability benefits to injured employees, death benefits to next of kin of deceased employees among others.
“Worthy of mention is the peculiar case of a staff of Hydrodrive Nigeria Limited, who worked as a Secretary. On the 4th of January 2019, while waiting at a bus stop on her way to work, a reckless bus driver knocked her down resulting to a fracture to her right hand, spinal cord and head injury.
“She was awarded 100percent disability and was treated at the Lagoon Hospital, Lagos. As at the last visit paid to her on 11th January 2022, she was completely bedridden, paralyzed in all limbs, unable to speak and completely dependent on her husband.
“The arrears of disability benefits in the sum of N4, 994, 150.18 was paid after which the beneficiary was placed on monthly disability benefits in the sum of N146,886.17. This is one out of many services that the NSITF offers to the registered employees,” she noted.
Colloroborating other speakers, General Manager/Head Corporate Affairs, Ijeoma Oji-Okoronkwo said the NSITF has successfully processed 23,455 employees compensation scheme applications across the 56 branches of the Fund and issued 22,761 employees compensation certificates within the period under review.
While recommitting to the ideas of transparency, accountability and prudence, she said all monies to the credit of the Fund are remitted through the Treasury Single Account (TSA) of the Federal Government.