Minister of Labour and Employment Dr. Chris Ngige has advocated stiff sanction for employers who defaulted in registering their employees under the Employee Compensation Scheme (ECS).
The minister lamented the low level of compliance with the provisions of the law establishing the scheme. He, therefore, urged the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) to come up with stiff sanctions for such defaulters.
Speaking at a meeting with the management staff of the NSITF in his office, Ngige said there was need to review the law establishing the scheme to include more stringent penalties for employers who fail to register their employees.
He said the compliance level by employers to the scheme was not encouraging, stressing that the Federal Government would no longer tolerate non-compliance with the provisions of the Act establishing the scheme.
“We have no option, but to push the ECS to performance level. There is no doubt that the idea is a great one. We must, however, ensure that Nigerians feel the positive impact of this initiative. I think that the management has to engage the governors through the governors forum, so that we can explain the advantages of this scheme to governors.
“I believe that stipend to be paid on employees’ salaries are small to the advantages that the scheme gives to workers, especially when they are injured in the course of work. I believe every governor would be happy to hear about the numerous advantages that their workers stand to benefit by joining the scheme,” Ngige said.
He maintained that the operations of the fund could be enhanced through an inter-agency collaboration with agencies like the National Directorate for Employment (NDE). Such collaboration, he stressed, could provide the fund with much needed data to expand NSITF’s frontiers.