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Senate seeks legal framework for national social security



Senate seeks legal framework for national social security

Ovie Omo-Agege

A bill seeking to empower vulnerable Nigerians with social security benefits has passed second reading in the Senate.

Sponsored by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the bill seeks to establish the National Social Security Commission, NASSCOM that would regulate, manage and administer social security benefits to eligible Nigeria.

Tagged: ‘Nigerian Social Security Commission (Establishment Bill, the proposed legislation will provide safety net for poor, weak and vulnerable Nigerians.

In his lead debate, Senator Omo-Agege explained that out of the nine domains listed in the Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102) of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) which Nigeria is a signatory to, only employment injury benefit is statutorily covered in the country.

He pointed out that when passed into law, Nigerians with several medical conditions, those incapacitated to work, unemployed citizens, senior citizens (70 years and above), families who have lost their breadwinners, widows incapable of self-support among others, will receive periodic social security benefits from the Commission.

Senate seeks legal framework for national social security

The lawmaker added that the NASSCOM bill aims to reduce poverty by providing a strong social safety net for vulnerable groups and serve as a model of governance reform anchored on the principles of transparency and accountability.

“Nigeria is a signatory to the Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102) of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). This Convention articulates globally-agreed minimum social security standards in 9 domains. Except employment injury benefit that is already statutorily covered in Nigeria, eight of the domains are uncovered, and they are the focus of this Bill.

“Consistent with Convention No. 102, which allows nations to enact social security laws based on their peculiarities but without prejudice to the global minimum standards, this Bill seeks to provide a comprehensive legal and governance framework for the proper administration of an inclusive national social security protection system that offers adjustable periodic benefits to eligible Nigerians who face improvidence arising from the eight uncovered domains.

“This Bill seeks to establish a Commission which shall, amongst others, determine the beneficiaries of social security benefits across the country, taking into consideration available resources, equity, severity of ascertained improvident conditions and contingencies, and such other factors that will promote national peace, unity and security through the social security system,” he said.

After the bill has passed second reading, the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, referred the bill to the Committee on Establishment and Public Service for further work after passing second reading and was given four weeks to report back to the Senate.

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