Friday, July 31, 2015

ICT key in social security implementation


The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has been identified as key to drive social security and critical policies aimed at mitigating socio-economic problems that affect the citizenry of the Sub-Saharan  African countries, ITRealms reports,

According to the International Social Security Association (ISSA) social security is "any programme of social protection established by legislation, or any other mandatory arrangement, that provides individuals with a degree of income security when faced with the contingencies of old age, survivorship, incapacity, disability, unemployment or rearing children. It may also offer access to curative or preventive medical care".

The Regional Director (Africa) for the International LabourOrganisation, Mr. Aeneas Chuma in a recent interview with THISDA, admitted that social security can be expensive, but harped on the need for each country to define its own form of social protection as it is necessary to have a system where the vulnerable are protected, citing Brazil where income is given to poor families to allow their children stay in school.

In the same vein, the Vice President for Africa, Public Service Institute, Comrade Peter Adeyemi in an interview noted that social security can mitigate extreme poverty and insecurity in the sub-region.

Nigeria, since 2010, ITRealms gathered, has been implementing the Employees Compensation Act (ECA), the social security for those who become incapacitated in work related accidents, or for their beneficiaries in event of loss of life. The social security has recently been extended to provide social security to the aged and unemployed through an amendment to the Act establishing the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF). The amendment is currently awaiting Presidential Assent.

The ISSA's Liaison Office for West Africa, is therefore organizing a technical seminar for West African countries in Abuja this week, to brainstorm on the modalities and impact of ICT in the performance of social security. The seminar themed "Impact of New Information and Communication Technology in the Performance of Social Security Institutions," is being hosted by the NSITF, reports ITRealms.

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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