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31 states lack insurance cover for workers

Thirty-one states in the federation have no insurance cover in place for workers as of March, despite the provision of the requirement in the Pension Reform Act 2014.

Figures obtained by Sunday PUNCH from PenCom on ‘Status of implementation of the CPS in states as at March 2021’ on Saturday showed that only five states, including the Federal Capital Territory, have insurance in place for their workers.

Other compliant states are Lagos, Osun, Ondo and Edo, which also have pension schemes for their workers, according to PenCom.

A former President, Trade Union Congress, Peter Esele, said it was not appropriate that most states lacked insurance cover for their workers.

Esele stated, “It speaks volumes to the fact that when the private sector has not shown respect for group life insurance, they are actually borrowing a leaf from the state governments.

“Ordinarily, what you should expect is that respect for our laws should be what state governments should be all about, but what they have done now is to show lack of respect for the law and their citizens because, ordinarily, it is in the best interest of not only the workers but also the management, that is, the government.

“It is so that whatever happens, the families of the people working with them are safe. For them not to have done that is sad and discomforting.”
The Director, Centre for Pension Rights Advocacy, Ivor Takor, urged state and local governments to comply fully with the regulations in the CPS. He worried that most states had yet to comply with the law.

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, Darlington Nwokocha, said the lawmakers were reviewing the insurance laws which would enhance the sector’s performance and assist the implementation of the compulsory insurance laws.

The Director-General, National Pension Commission, Aisha Dahir-Umar, said the commission was engaging states to ensure full compliance with the PRA.

She noted that it had continued to review the implementation of the scheme in the states.

Also, the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday Thomas, said the National Insurance Commission was seeking compliance on the compulsory insurance schemes.

Thomas stated that NAICOM had visited some of the state governors to solicit the support for compliance with insurance laws.

Also, PenCom, in a recent circular, ordered employers of labour to comply with the Group Life Insurance Policy as stipulated in the Pension Reform Act 2014.
PenCom also ordered employers to display a copy of the GLIP certificate in a conspicuous place within the premises before the end of July 31, 2021.

It stated this in a circular to all employers and employees titled ‘Re: Compliance with PRA 2014 on Group Life Insurance Policy for employees and display of insurance certificate for 2021’.

The commission said, “In accordance with the provisions of Section 4(5) of the Pension Reform Act 2014, every employer shall maintain a Group Life Insurance Policy in favour of all employees.

“The GLIP should be a minimum of three times the annual total emolument of the employees. Similarly, Section 5.5 of the revised guidelines on GLIP for employees provides that the employer shall display a copy of the GLIP certificate in a conspicuous place within its premises, for the information of the employees and as evidence of having taken such policy.

“Employers that have not displayed a copy of the GLIP certificate within their premises are advised to do so on or before 31 July, 2021. Failure to provide GLIP is a violation of Section 4(5) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014.”

PenCom disclosed that only 15,418 organisations got its clearance to do the business of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government between January 4 and May 10.

It said the clearance was given to them for having pension accounts and life insurance cover for their employees.

According to the commission, the clearance enables them to do the business of the Federal Government for the 2021 financial year.

PenCom said companies that had no insurance cover for their workers would no longer be allowed to do any government business.

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