…….Receives minister of Labour and employment Chris Ngige
Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state has stated that a functional social security scheme will serve as panacea to insurgency and other agitations across the country.
The governor disclosed this when he received the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige and a team of NSITF officials, who were in Uyo for a two-day retreat.
Gov. Emmanuel said the NSITF scheme was a welcome development in social security in Nigeria but urged the operators of the Board to step up enlightenment on the scheme.
He noted that social security keeps the people are calmer and lessens agitation, stressing that Nigeria’s her huge population cannot ignore such a scheme.
“Any country that this is put in place, the people are calmer and the agitation is much less. We really need this in a country like Nigeria where the population is so huge.
“I am also hoping that there will be a time in Nigeria when our social security will really work.
“We need more enlightenment. People still contribute but they don’t know what to do and what steps they need to take. I think in this age of social media there should be a proper website to educate people, because you need workers’ trust,” he said.
The governor used the opportunity to draw the attention of the minister to the exclusion of the state on the board of the sovereign wealth fund despite being the highest contributor to the fund.
Speaking further, the governor decried the situation where Nigeria, a country of over 200 million people had only one functional seaport, “when a state like Akwa Ibom has a natural drought of 17.3Km that can easily be developed to serve the entire South-south and South-east”.
He said that it was totally anti-development for a trailer to spend 69 days to move from Kano to Tinkan to clear goods and then return to Kano whereas other alternatives were possible.
He said if Nigeria could play her proper role, African countries with smaller economies are supposed to transship from Nigeria and even trade with the naira, rather than worry about having their own seaports.
The Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, thanked the Akwa Ibom Governor for the warm reception accorded them in the State, describing Uyo as the pride and choice town of Nigeria’s South-south region and the governor as a creditable manager of resources.
Dr. Ngige explained that the NSITF is an agency of the federal government under the supervision of his Ministry charged with managing workers’ social security, protection from work-related hazards and ensuring adequate compensation in the case of accident, incapacitation or death.
The Minister further enunciated that the scheme, in line with the 2010 Act of Parliament of the Federal Government of Nigeria, provides that with as cheap as one percent of monthly pay, a worker’s can get premium among other benefits.
He therefore urged Akwa Ibom Government to enroll the state’s workers in the scheme, to be at par with employees in the federal government and such states as Lagos.