FG urged to harmonize social security policies
The Federal Government has been urged to harmonize and coordinate various social security programmes presently executed in various government ministries, departments and agencies.
This call was made by the General Manager and Head of Social Security of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) Mr. Ismail Agaka in Abuja while speaking on the challenges confronting the implementation of social security initiatives in Nigeria.
Agaka explained that though the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity is charged with regulating implementation of social security in the country, it has not been empowered to carry out the function.
According to him, Nigeria does not have a structured social security yet which need to be urgently addressed.
“What Nigeria has are various social security programmes that are simultaneously implemented in at least nine MDAs. Therefore, the lack of synergy is really affecting the implementation of these programmes. Nigeria does not have a national policy on social security. The last attempt at having a national social security policy was the Gowon committee report. The committee submitted a report but up till now, several years after, there is no white paper published to enable legislation on the recommendations of the committee report. There is an urgent need for a national social policy,” he said.
While lauding past efforts at expanding the implementation of social security to Nigerians, Agaka stressed that Nigerian has indeed done very well as it currently implements seven out of the nine programmes highlighted by the International Labour Organization’s Convention 102 even though most of them are in the formal sector of the economy.
“We therefore have a situation whereby the formal sector employees mostly enjoy social security programmes. Meanwhile, there is ILO declaration that aims at extending social security to all by the year 2020,” he said.
While underlining that the NSITF cannot work outside of government programmes, he said the Employees Compensation Scheme (ECS) of the NSITF is designed only for the public sector as well as the organized private sector.
L-R: President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Augustine Alegeh and NLC president Comrade Ayuba Wabba during the NLC president courtesy call on the NBA president recently in Abuja.