The new managing director of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Dr. Michael Akabogu, has promised a new beginning for the Fund devoid of scandals, disclosing that “the Fund is undergoing various levels of restructuring based on various past challenges.”
The general manager, enforcement, Abdul-Lateef Musa said the agency has collected N180 billion between July 2011 when it was established and May 2021.
He said the NSITF has so far registered 200,000 employers out of which only 170,000 are active. Seven million Nigerians are currently covered by the NSITF. The agency said it has processed claims for over 52,000 people since the beginning of its operations.
Speaking during a media chat in Abuja, Dr Akabogu, who recently assumed office, said: “In this new dispensation, we are focused on fulfilling the core mandate and restoring confidence in our processes and dignity of the fund.
Akabogu assured that NSITF will soon automate its operations to guide against activities of fraudsters that have been taking advantage of unsuspecting clients of the agency.
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He also promised to ensure the 14-day period for compensation of claims is reduced to 10 days for the processing of compensation for employees who suffer from occupational diseases, sustain injuries or disability from accidents at workplace or in the course of employment.
“I believe that with God on our side, we will not waste this opportunity, rather we would work to deliver for the Nigerian workers,” he promised.
Akabogu explained the objectives of the new NSITF management under his watch to include; “Creation of pathways to reward excellent and outstanding service while maintaining utmost commitment to staff welfare; repositioning of the public perception of the fund; and increasing the productivity of every department of the fund and using quantifiable metrics to measure our performance in the weeks and months ahead.”
Other objectives, according to Dr Akabogu, are “to improve on and ensure prompt payments of claims and compensations to give value for money to all the Contributors in our ECA Scheme; widen the spread of our enrollees; create more visibility for the Fund through improved public engagement and public enlightenment activities; and create a conducive atmosphere in the organisation and make the Fund a great place to work.”
The NSITF MD expressed immense gratitude to president Muhammadu Buhari and the minister of labour and employment, Sen. (Dr) Chris Nwabueze Ngige, for his appointment. “I will bring transparency, do my best to maintain and further enhance the good working and personal relations that my predecessor has established,” he assured.
Earlier in her welcome address, NSITF general manager SERVICOM and board secretary, Mrs. Ijeoma Okoronkwo, stressed the resolve of the new management “to rebuild the image of the fund and re-engage productively with our communities.”