By Appolos Christian
The Managing Director and Chief Executive of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Barrister Adebayo Somefun, has said that the Fund in its quest to rebrand for effectiveness in all areas will improve on its staff welfare as part of its four point agenda.
Briefing journalists in Abuja on the outcome of the maiden retreat of the board and management of the Fund held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Barrister Somefun, said; “When we came on board we thought about a four point agenda: First; Consolidating upon the achievement of the previous administrations; they did a lot of work and we want to improve upon what they have done, Second; Increase the contribution base of the Fund, Third; Rebrand NSITF through aggressive public enlightenment and, Four; Improvement of staff welfare.”
The NSITF MD, went on to say that staff welfare as one of the components of the four point agenda of the Fund under leadership is very sacrosanct, saying that promotion of staff will be continual according to administrative stipulation.
“Promotion will be as at when due. We have started it and we will continue it. We know what the requirements are.”
He also said that consolidating on the achievements of the past of administration towards realizing the Fund’s existential mandate will include training and retraining of staff.
His words, “As regard training, it is a relatively new social security platform especially in the assessment of claims; it is professionalized and that is why we will need professionals to come and train them on claims assessment, and the training will be in the area of needs. And as you I know we also have Human Resources training, ethics training and many others, but we are going to concentrate on claims and compensation because that is what the Fund was basically established for.”
Responding to questions from journalists on whether the Fund has power to prosecute defaulters Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) compliance, he said: “Our Act doesn’t empower us as regards disciplining companies that fail to comply with workplace occupational safety standards. All it says is that we should combine the efforts and resources of relevant stakeholders with a view to preventing workplace disabilities and enforcement of occupational health and standards. It didn’t give us the right to prosecute them.
“Even companies that don’t contribute, we don’t have the right to seal their office. And that why we try to use more of persuasion, moral persuasion. Such as; if you do this, it is for your own good, for your children’s good.
“For example; I lost my dad at the age of 7, had this scheme been in operation then, maybe my mom would have found it easier in raising us up because I know what she went through in life. And that is why, it is only the broken that can be masters in mending. You must have a passion in whatever you are doing especially when it has to do with humanity.
“I am happy that we have a board that will surpass whatever we as the exco and management have done in two and half years. And we have started to run with the chairman’s vision, the minister’s vision; we are running together. And that is why we went as a family to see the Governor of Akwa Ibom. And there; the power purpose, the power of vision got the governor to promised that his State was going come on board, and if we can do that in all the states, I can tell you that you will see a new revived NSITF.”