By Appolos Christian
To maximize the gains of social security in Nigeria, the Federal Government has called on stakeholders in the social security schemes to harmonize their data into a comprehensive unit for effective service delivery.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, who made this call in Abuja at a workshop aimed at “Promoting Synergy Among Formal Social Security Schemes and Programmes Through Improved Social Security Data Integrity”, organised for the stakeholders, hinted that Government would put in place, platforms for experts from all the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the social security schemes to work together to achieve optimum result in improving data integrity.
“It is imperative that all central machinery be put in motion for the effective collaboration of MDAs implementing social security schemes to ensure proficient services.” His words.
According to a press statement by the Ministry’s Deputy Director/ Head Press Mr Charles Akpan, the Minister also noted global consensus on the importance of social security data for national socio-economic development, and also emphasised the importance of harnessing a comprehensive data for not only addressing gaps in social security schemes, but also for enhancing effective policy articulation by Government.
He also said in view of Nigeria’s vast population, a comprehensive data in social security would work to improve workers’ productivity, bridge income inequality, enhance social cohesion and engender national integration, as well as aid inclusive economic growth.
Furthermore the Minister stated that achieving the maximum gain of social security in Nigeria would entail adequate planning and data collection/collation to establish a dependable data base for all categories of beneficiaries and the various types of social security schemes provided.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, William Alo, stated that the workshop was a call for strengthening and moving forward the social security focus in Nigeria, and an effort to achieve inclusive growth.
He added that eliminating extreme poverty and putting in place social protection would contribute immensely to the realization of a number of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Mr Alo also disclosed that the workshop, with the theme “One Stop-Shop Information Centre for Social Security in Nigeria”, would “review the evidence of a positive social security influence with an aim to analysing the relevance and implications of new improved technologies in data collection for national social security schemes.”
Present at the workshop were the President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, and representatives of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, and Civil Society Organisations and other stakeholders.