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FEC approves digitalisation of NSITF as it seeks to end job racketeering

The digitalisation of the National Social Insurance Trust Fund’s (NSITF) services, to be known as e-NSITF, has been approved by the federal executive council (FEC).

The clearance was given by the council on Wednesday during a meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, told journalists that the decision to digitise the NSITF was in keeping with the government’s objective on ease of doing business.

“As you’re aware, a lot has happened in the NSITF in terms of revenue losses and pillage of funds that have been given to that organization, saying the e-NSITF would encourage accountability and stop money leaks in the industry.

According to the Employee Compensation Act (ECA) 2010, which is implemented by the NSITF, employers in both the public and private sectors are required to contribute 1% of their employees’ salaries to a social fund.

It is intended to be used as a premium or insurance fund to cover expenses for employees or staff members who suffer accidents, illnesses, disabilities, or even fatalities while performing their duties.

“So, it’s like accident or injury insurance. The pension Act makes reference to the fact that it must be done for workers in addition to group life. So, the monies that have gone in there have not been properly utilised, and the payments have not been tracked, he said.

According to the Minister, payments from any of their 56 stations and 11 regional offices could be accounted for after the digitization, which is expected to be finished in 8 weeks.

Job racketeering

Additionally, the Ministry received FEC clearance to update the Nigerian Labour Exchange (NILEX) in order to support programmes for job-seeking.

Funds for the upgrade, according to Dr Ngige, have already been obtained through bilateral and multilateral agreements.

When it is operational, he said, it would prevent the exploitation of job seekers since organisations would be required to post job openings, while those in the diapora would load their expertise to the portal to seek for special jobs.

According to the Minister, the platform will also offer a channel for businesses and job seekers to communicate.

Reporting by Abdullah Bello; Editing by Saadatu Albashir