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Employee Compensation Bill is anti government reform agenda – NIA

The Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), the umbrella body of all the insurance companies in Nigeria made this position in Lagos in statement and urged all…

The Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), the umbrella body of all the insurance companies in Nigeria made this position in Lagos in statement and urged all well meaning Nigerians to rise up and oppose it.

The Bill is sponsored by Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and has undergone public hearing in both chambers of the National Assembly, seeks to create a fund to be solely managed by the NSITF which will act as the Regulator and Custodian of the fund.   

NIA said “it will be wrong and totally against the spirit of the Federal Government Reform Programme to create another public institution which will be collecting money from Nigerian workers.”

It said the “NIA is convinced that in this era of reforms when the government is getting slimmer and concentrating on providing the framework to support the private sector in the management of enterprises, it is absurd for the NSITF to be canvassing for the creation of an octopus organization to warehouse the huge funds to be contributed by employers in both the public and private sectors of the economy.”

“It is on record that the National Provident Fund which metamorphosed into NSITF was a big failure, and NSITF has not fared better” it noted.

Till date, it said Nigerians cannot confidently say they have easy access to their benefits under NSITF Scheme.  Rather, the media is replete with stories of poor record keeping, lack of accountability, and mismanagement of funds in the NSITF. NSITF has not been able to account for employers’ and employees’ contributions which the Pension Reform Act 2004 required it to pay into Employees Individual Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA) with Pension Fund Administrators (PFA).  

The kind of monopoly the Bill seeks to create is antithetical to modern economic principles and practices.  All over the world, the current trend is for government to avoid creating bureaucracies or taking on responsibility which the private sector can handle effectively it concluded.

“The so-called novel benefits introduced by the Bill are mere cosmetic and dishonest.  NSITF never paid basic benefits to contributors and cannot honestly say that it has intention to provide those new benefits, as it never did under the NSITF Scheme,” the Association declared.

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