The Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Dr. Kelly Nwagha, has called for more effective collaboration between the Fund and the Association Of Hospital And Administrative Pharmacists Of Nigeria (AHAPN) in the implementation of the Employee’s Compensation Scheme (ECS).
He made the call recently when he received a delegation led by the Abuja Chapter President of of AHAPN, Dr. Abubakar Danraka, at the NSITF headquarters in Abuja.
Dr. Nwagha lamented the non-implementation of the communiqué reached between the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria and the NSITF, which would have helped more pharmacists in their work places and ensured greater productivity.
He said: “The Pharmacist Council Of Nigeria, in which Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria has substantial representation, is expected from that communiqué to enrol pharmacy practitioners en masse into the ECS, which compensates employees for work-related injuries, diseases and deaths”.
The practitioners in this instance include community pharmacists, patent and proprietary medicine dealers and employees of pharmaceutical firms, said Dr. Nwagha, who is also a pharmacist.
“It is really unfortunate that up till this moment that communiqué is yet to be activated“, he said, and who urged the delegation to use its position to reactivate the communiqué for the benefit of employers and the employees in the pharmaceutical sector.
While noting that Preventative, Rehabilitative and Compensatory services were integral part of the Fund’s mandate, Dr. Nwagha disclosed that the NSITF had paid over N4billion in compensation to subscribers of the ECS since the Fund was given legal backing in 2010, out of which about N1billion was paid in 2020 alone.
He summarised the NSITF mandate thus: “Employment injury scheme is centred basically on one key area; prevention of accidents/injuries in the workplace, which I term preventative service that we provide.
“Good healthy living and stress management which directly improves productivity is a component of what we do under Health, Safety and Environment, which I am heading.
“When we carry out preventative measure and there is a failure, we do what we call rehabilitative service, like treating the injured employee to get back to normal working condition. NSITF provides this service.
“The issue of rehabilitative services which includes the provision of artificial members; prosthesis for those who lost their arms, legs, have a hearing challenges. We call it ‘return to work’, it is a health and safety responsibility.
“The compensatory services we provide are humongous; whereby we pay disability services to injured employees, depending on the extent of disability. And should death arise in the course of the work, we pay the Next of Kin of the deceased a percentage of his total salary for a specific period of time.
“At the same time, we pay for what we call loss of productivity; because during the period of hospitalisation, the worker is not working. So we try to help the employer manage this financial burden by paying a percentage as provided by law under loss of productivity to the employer.”
In his remarks, Dr. Abubakar Danraka, congratulated Dr. Nwagha on his appointment as the Acting Managing Director/CE of NSITF, describing him as one of the icons of the AHAPN, even as he sought collaboration with the Fund in conducting periodic training and workshops of pharmaceutical staff.
He explained that his team comprises a technical group of 453 members in Abuja, working in about 13 organisations, under the umbrella body of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria.