The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has issued a clarification, emphasizing that it did not reject the 40 per cent deduction of employer contributions by the Ministry of Finance. Nwachukwu Godson, the General Manager of Corporate Affairs at NSITF, stated in Abuja that the fund does not possess the authority to refuse the deduction, contrary to media reports.
Godson clarified that the fund was reiterating an appeal made to the former Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, on October 3, 2023. The appeal sought a review of the inclusion of NSITF in the Fiscal Responsibility and Finance Act of 2020. This request was based on the fund’s unique status as a non-treasury-funded agency entrusted with contributors’ money.
The statement highlighted the managing director’s New Year’s Day release, stating, “The NSITF stands at the threshold of social and economic change, poised to overcome its challenges as the custodian of social security.”
Addressing challenges faced by NSITF, the statement pointed out a deduction of 40 per cent, totaling N1.4 billion, from employer contributions in 2022 by the Ministry of Finance. This deduction was made as an operating surplus in line with the Fiscal Responsibility and Finance Act of 2020. The NSITF, being a non-revenue-generating agency, contested this action, emphasizing its unique position as a tripartite agency holding contributions in trust for employee benefits under the ECS (Employee Compensation Scheme).
The NSITF, not drawing from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation and lacking an operating surplus, appealed for a review and removal from the schedule of the Fiscal Responsibility Act. The fund seeks to ensure that its special status is recognized and preserved, considering its role in social security.