The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the digitisation of the services of the National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) to be known as e-NSITF.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige disclosed this to State House Correspondents saying the digitisation of NSITF was in line with the government’s policy on ease of doing business. He said the policy would curtail losses in the system.
“The ministry presented two memos to the council today. The first memo was presented on behalf of our parastatal, the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF). As you’re aware, a lot has happened in the NSITF in terms of revenue loses and plunder of funds that have been given to that organisation.
“The NSITF implements the Employee Compensation Act ECA 2010 and by that Act, Employers in both public and private sectors are supposed to pay one percent of the emoluments of their staff into a social fund in NSITF. And this one is to be used as a premium or insurance fund to cater for workers or staff members who have accidents, injuries, disabilities and even deaths that occur in the cause of their work.
“The pension Act makes reference to it 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, the payments have not been tracked. So, today we brought to council a memo for an e-NSITF by which their operations will now be digitalised. Both the payments that are put in from any of their stations, they have 56 branches and 11 regional offices. So in the comfort of your office, you can pay and register on that platform and that money is now tracked into a Central pool, form where claims are made and payments are also made for the insurance of those who are beneficiaries, you also track them.”
Ngige said the new strategy would enhance the efficiency of NSITF as well as block leakages.
FEC also approved the enactment of the Federal Produce Inspection Service Bill 2022, for onward transmission to the National Assembly for passage.
Ngige said the council also approved an upgrade of a portal called Nigerian Labour Exchange (NILEX), to withstand requests by both employers and employees within and outside the country.
“That digital platform is supposed to be used by employers on one hand and job seekers on the other. The employers will load the vacancies they have, the type of skill they want, the qualifications of people that can fit in there. Then the job seekers, graduates and non-graduates will register, put in the qualification and skill and then the two groups are matched. The employer can speak with a job seeker, via that platform.
“Over the years we have not been able to expand it. But on a bilateral, multilateral agreement now the funds have been provided. So we are redesigning it, remodelling it, and then upgrading the infrastructure.
“Council approved that consultant should also handle that with a completion period of 12 weeks. With that we have passed the first stage of digitalising that particular platform. And one of the good things about that platform now is that when it becomes operational, all those phoney platforms that ask people to register for work, pay in N1000 or N20,000, will become a thing of the past because this will be a government platform. And when you go there, you know is a genuine platform.
“Apart that, people in diaspora can also upload their expertise and tell Nigerians, what they have that qualify them for special jobs and if they are employers in Nigeria that need them, again they’ll be handshake through that same portal.”
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo said the proposed law is to repeal the Produce Enforcement of Standards Act 2004, which is currently in place.
Adebayo said when passed, the new law will enable the ministry to establish five laboratories across the geo-political zones of the country, for microbial analysis of agro-products for local consumption and export.
“The justification for the memo is primarily of the need to have an all-encompassing produce inspection regime in Nigeria that is capable of ensuring best practices in the export of produce from Nigeria. The proposed bill seeks to correct the shortcomings in the previous law. For instance, the organisational structure to which the law applies, which has increased to 72 from 16, the location covered by emergency orders for pest control use in the event of an outbreak.”
The consultancy which is at the total sum of about N1.4 billion to Messrs Tata Consulting Engineers in partnership with Messrs Abigrants limited has 24 months completion period.