Olejeme, NSITF and social protection
By Alao Taiwo
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The enactment of the Employees’ Compensation Act (ECA) 2010 which repealed the obsolete Workmen’s Compensation Act (WCA) of 1942 is of immense importance to the workers of Nigeria as the scheme has achieved tremendous success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.
Alao Taiwo writes from Lagos