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Chuks Udo Okonta
In spite efforts by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) and the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) to get all states in the country to adopt group life policy for their workers, 32 out of the 36 states have refused to budged.
According to a recent data, released by PenCom, only Lagos; Osun; Edo; Ondo and FCT have complied with the law on group life.
To ensure workers are cared for through life insurance, PenCom had directed employees to report any employer that fails to procure the minimum required Life Insurance Policy in their favour not less than three times their annual total emolument.
PenCom in a notice entitled: ‘Re Compliance withguidelines for life insurance policy for employees and submission of insurance certificate for 2020’ stated that it is the right of all employees in the Public Service of the Federation, Federal Capital Territory and States that have implemented the Contributory Pension Scheme as well as private sector, under Section 4(5) of the PRA 2014 to have Life Insurance Policy taken on their behalf by their employers for an insured amount of not less than three (3) times their annual total emolument.
PenCom further advised employees to bring to its notice, where the employer fails to: “submit the evidence of compliance with Life Insurance Policy and place the certificate in a conspicuous place within the organisation.
PenCom noted that in accordance with the provisions of Section 4(5) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014 and Section 5.5 of the Guidelines for Life Insurance Policy for Employees, Employers of labour covered by the PRA 2014 are required to submit copies of the Insurance Certificates with the schedule of benefits to the National Pension Commission (PenCom).
The Director, Centre for Pension Rights Advocacy (CPRA), Ivor Takor, urged the unions in public and private sectors to rise up to the plight of workers by compelling employers to insure their lives.According to him, while the labour unions are fighting for salary increment, the pension and insurance packages of workers should also be part of their demands.
“It is now obvious to everybody that the state governors, among others, cannot do anything for the welfare of the workers unless they are compelled to do it. So, if the public sector unions don’t get up and ensure they implement these things, those states will not do anything,” he said.
Also commenting on the development, the past President, Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB), Shola Tinubu, urged employers to take up the responsibility of insuring their workers, as this may also motivate employees to be dedicated to work.
Available data showed that about 2.5 million civil servants in the country are missing out of the benefits of Group Life Insurance cover, following the inability of 33 states to sign on to the policy, against the mandate of Pension Reforms Act (PRA) 2014.
Group life cover is a joint regulation of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and PenCom, on Section 9 (3) of PRA 2014, requiring every employer, to which the Act applies, to maintain Life Insurance Policy in favour of the employee for a minimum of three times the annual total emolument of the employee. The policy provides cover to the insured against death.
Worried about the lack of group life cover for workers in these states, the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) had written state governments on the need to adequately protected their workers with insurance.
The Executive Secretary of the broking body, NCRIB, Fatai Adegbenro, told this medium in a telephone interview that the body had written to all the state governors on the need for them to mitigate their risks through insurance.
He expressed optimism that the present situation where on few states have group life for workers will soon change, adding that the various state charters of the NCRIB have been keenly following up with their states to ensure they protect their workers and properties with insurance.