The Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has said the sum of N306,554,896.23 million was paid to injured employees as claims and compensations in the last four months.
The NSITF Executive Director, Administration, Barr. Maureen Allagoa, made the disclosure during an interactive session with the media in Abuja on Tuesday.
Allagoa noted that the compensations served as cover for medical expenses refund, loss of productivity, disability benefits to injured employees, death benefits to next of kin of deceased employees, among others.
He stated that the agency and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) were currently working towards effecting some reviews to the employees compensation scheme, following new challenges thrown up by the outbreak of COVID-19.
He said: “Worthy of mention is the peculiar case of a staff of Hydrodrive Nigeria Limited, who worked as a Secretary. On the 4th of January 2019, while waiting at a bus stop on her way to work, a reckless bus driver knocked her down resulting to a fracture to her right hand, spinal cord and head injury
“She was awarded 100 percent disability and was treated at the Lagoon Hospital, Lagos. As at the last visit paid to her on 11th January 2022, she was completely bedridden, paralyzed in all limbs, unable to speak and completely dependent on her husband.
“The arrears of disability benefits in the sum of N4, 994, 150.18 was paid after which the beneficiary was placed on monthly disability benefits in the sum of N146,886.17. This is one out of many services that the NSITF offers to the registered employees.”
Also speaking on the development, the NSITF Secretary and General Manager/Head Corporate Affairs, Ijeoma Oji-Okoronkwo, said the NSITF has processed 23,455 employees compensation scheme applications across the 56 branches of the Fund and issued 22,761 employees compensation certificates within the period under review.
According to her, all monies to the credit of the Fund were remitted through the Treasury Single Account (TSA) of the Federal Government.
The Fund General Manager, Claims and Compensation, Barr Nkiru Ogunnaike, who said some of the contemporary challenges thrown up by the emergence of COVID-19 might necessitate a review of the workplace compensation scheme, stressed the need to ascertain if the claims by lots of workers of sustained injury while working at home were true.
While explaining that most of the victims reporting for claims were those involved in road traffic accidents either on their way to work or back home, she added that many formal sector workers also lay claims to have contacted Covid-19 while undergoing official duties and demanding full compensations.
Ogunnaike said: “We all know about the COVID-19 pandemic and we are in talks with the ILO to push for legislations on claims especially when covid occurred in the course of work.
“For instance we all know that working from home is still a norm now, we have had cases when people said they got injured while working from home, how do you establish whether an employee got injured from home.
“Most of our claims are on victims who had traffic accidents, these people come around to say they got injured on their way to work or from work.
“This is one area we will need collaboration with the security agencies like the police or road safety officials to actually ascertain where such incidents happened so as not to misappropriate the compensation on victims.”