Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund to enlist Informal Sector into Insurance Scheme

Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund to enlist Informal Sector into Insurance Scheme

Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund is a defined benefit scheme which enabled contributions to enjoy pension and grants far beyond their contributions.

The new rate of contribution, which was effected after an actuarial review of the scheme, took effect from January, 2002.

Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund to enlist Informal Sector into Insurance Scheme. Thingscouplesdo.com

It was from the cumulative contribution that the cost of administering the Fund was funded and the surplus was invested in safe, liquid and profitable investment to generate income for the payment of benefits.

Registered members were entitled, subject to certain qualifications, to receive pension and grants as benefits in the event of attaining the retirement age of 60 (or 55), invalidity or death, which would be paid to them or their survivors as the case might be.

In order to deliver on its mandate, the Fund was given operational autonomy in order to;
evolve a more result-oriented and accountable management based on performance contracts;
strengthen financial/accounting controls;
ensure financial solvency through effective cost recovery, cost control and prudent management.
remove bureaucratic bottlenecks and political interference through clear role definitions between the supervising Ministry, the Board and the Management.

NSITF scheme was funded with contributions from the registered members of the scheme. The cost of administration of the scheme by the NSITF Board (capital and recurrent) were borne by the Fund, as the scheme plan allowed between 5-25% of contributions received to meet administrative costs (normally higher at inception of scheme and progressively lower as the scheme matures). NSITF was also empowered under the Act to carry on business of profitable nature, investment, etc.

Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund to enlist Informal Sector into Insurance Scheme. Thingscouplesdo.com

Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund to enlist Informal Sector into Insurance Scheme

In line with its establishment Act, the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has rolled out measures to enlist more workers in the country’s informal sector into the scheme.

While flagging off a sensitisation meeting with stakeholders in the informal sector in Abuja, the General Manager in charge of Abuja region, Tesh Kibikiwa, said previously, the fund had concentrated on the enrollment of public sector workers and leaving out those outside the public service.

However, Kibikiwa said the management of the fund was now determined to reverse the trend by reaching out to the workforce in the informal sector.

“Today as you can see a mixture of the informal sector chairmen or leaders of various sectors of associates in the informal sector. We have been concentrating on the formal sector but our Act stipulates that we should cover the informal sector which constitutes the larger percentage of the workforce in this country.

“Hence we have commenced the process of sensitisation to bring stakeholders in this sector on board so that they can also enjoy the welfare package of the federal government,” he said.

Kibikiwa said some of the benefits of the social insurance scheme included compensation for workplace injury.

“Whatever the work you do, you should not suffer disabilities or injury, but should you suffer injury, the NSITF will come in to take care your medical expenses.

Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund to enlist Informal Sector into Insurance Scheme. Thingscouplesdo.com

“The scheme will ensure that workers that have injuries or disabilities resulting from their work are treated properly to help them return to work or be rehabilitated,” he said.

On the criteria required for one to benefit from the scheme, the GM said one must a worker or employee in the public sector or informal sector.

He also said the worker was expected to pay one per cent of his or her total emolument, either monthly, quarterly or yearly.

When asked to assess the response from the informal sector, the GM said, “today we were impressed by the turn out of the people in the informal sector. A lot of them that came, have promised to take the message back to their others and to ensure that their members informed to enable them register with the social insurance scheme.”

He said the present management at the NSITF has spread its dragnet wide across the country, to ensure that people in the grassroot areas are given the opportunity to be part of the scheme.

The GM further said the management had reformed its systems to ensure that the processing of compensation is seamless.

“We are trying to make sure that anybody who makes a claim and after fulfilling all the requirements, receive his payment not later than 14 days.”

Among the informal sector workers that attended the workshop were representatives of the Tricycle Riders popularly known as the “Keke- Riders, the Civilization JTF, traders and other artisans.

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One of the informal sector workers that attended the meeting and the Secretary of the Tricycle Riders Association, Kubwa NYSC Junction chapter, Isah Hassan Aliyu expressed the hope that the benefit of the scheme would reach his members.

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