AN APPRAISAL OF EMPLOYEES’ COMPENSATION UNDER NIGERIAN LAW

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ABSTRACT

Over the years, laws have generally evolved ways and grounds of compensating employees for job-related disabilities and risks, because, in man’s search for food and other necessaries in life, he is constantly exposed to hazards. What provoked this research was the need for an appraisal of the employees’ compensation under Nigerian law. Employees’ Compensation Act 2010 is the present Act governing compensation for job-related risks in Nigeria. This research adopted a doctrinal method and empirical method. The empirical method adopted is the interview method conducted at the headquarters of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Management Board. The doctrinal method explored relevant Acts, case laws, textbooks, journals, literature etc for a good understanding of the provisions of the Employees’ Compensation Act, 2010.There is an attempt by the Act to simplify the procedure and requirements for claim of compensation but some inherent problems exist;. Findings in the research revealed that the Board has not made the Rules which the Act empowers it to make in respect of some cases of compensation whose scales are not contained in the Act. Also, the research also revealed some likely enforcement problems within the informal sector. Findings revealed that job-related ‘mental stress’ has for the first time been introduced as a ground for compensation of employees in Nigeria but there are still some inadequacies in the provisions; for example, ‘mental stress’ is not compensable if it results from an injury for which the affected employee is otherwise entitled to compensation. Findings among others also reveal that there exist too much discretionary powers bestowed on the Board (Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund Management Board) the body that the Act empowers to manage the Fund established in the Act. Health care benefits are discretionary and are only mandatory in cases of occupational diseases. There should be compensation for ‘mental stress’, irrespective of whether or not it results from an injury for which the affected employee is entitled to compensation. Payment for health care services and disability supports should be made a right in all established cases. The Board should hasten up to make the required Rules which shall provide the scales of compensation not captured in the Act or the Act be amended to capture all the scales of compensation in its provisions. The Board should partner with all village and district heads in enforcing the scheme at the informal sector

TABLE OF STATUTES

Pages

– Armed Forces Act, Cap A20, Laws of the Federation of
Nigeria, 2004 – – – – – 43, 44

– Armed Forces Pension Act, Cap A23, Laws of the Federation of
Nigeria, 2004 – – – – – – – 43,44

– Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as

amended). – – – – – – – 91,103,110
– Employees’ Compensation Act No. 13, 2010. 9,10,11,12,13,20-136
– Employees’ Liability Act, 1880 – – – – 24
– Employees’ Liability Act, 1908 – – – – 24
– Labour Act, Cap L1, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. 45
– National Industrial Court Act, No. 1, 2006. – – – 110
– Pension Reform Act, No. 2, 2005 – – – – 4,81,84

– Workmen’s Compensation Act Cap. W6 Laws of the

Federation of Nigeria, 2004. – – – – – 7,11

TABLE OF ABBREVIATIONS
Pages
A.C – Appeal Cases – – – – – 1, 58
BC – Before Christ – – – – 20
Cap. – Chapter – – – – – 7,45
Comp. – Comparative – – – – – 15
ECS. – Employees’ Compensation Scheme – 102
Int’l – International – – – – – 15
K.B – King’s Bench – – – – – 57
L.J – Law Journal – – – – – 15
L.L.R – Lagos Law Report – – – – 1,58
NIC – National Industrial Court – – – 100
NWLR – Nigerian Weekly Law Reports – – 100,106
P. – Page – – – – – – 14
PAC – Pacific – – – – – 17
PP. – pages – – – – – -14,15,16
SCNJ – Supreme Court of Nigeria Judgement – -100
Temp. – Temple – – – – – 15
V – Versus – – – – 1,58,59,70,100,1
Vol. – Volume – – – – – 1

TABLE OF CASES

Pages
Adeyemi Saliu Olaotan v. Lagos State Government and Ors
(Unreported) Suit No. NIC/LA/41/2010 – – – – – 100
AG Ondo v. A.G. Federation (2002) 9 NWLR (pt 772) 241 – – 100
Amadi v. NNPC (2000) 10 NWLR (pt 674) – – – – 100
Davidson v. Co M’. Robb (1918) AC 304,317 – – – – 58
Fitzgerald v. W.G. Clarke & Son (1908) 2KB, 796,799 – – – 106
Gilbert Ezeiggwev. Awawa Awudu(2008)11NWLR(pt.1097)158———– 106
Jiboso v.Obadina(1962)WRNLR 303—————————————— 106
Madukolu v. Nkedilim (1962) SCNLR 341 – – – – – 100
Metal Containers (W.A) Ltd v. Momodu Iyomifokhia (1959) L.L.R 130 1
Moor v. Manchester Liners Ltd (1910) AC 498 – – – – 59
New Monchkton Collieries Ltd v. Keeling (1911) A.C. 648 – – 70
Nisbet v. Bayne & Burne (1960) 2 KB 689 – – – – 59
Sharp v. Johnson Co. Ltd (1905) 2 KB 139 – – – – 59
Shitta-Bey v. A.G Federation and Anor (1998) 7 SCNJ 264 at 266 – 97
Thompson v. Armstrong & Royse Proprietary Ltd (1950) CLR 585 – 1, 76
Thompson v. Sinclair (1917) A.C. 127 – – – – – 1, 76
Trim Joint District School Board of Management V. Kelly (1914) AC 667 1 ,58
UAC v. Orekyan (1961) L.L.R 144 – – – – – – 1, 58
Umokoro 8 others v. Nigeria Ports Authority and Anor (1997) 4 NWLR
(pt 502) 656 – – – – – – – – – 100
Welsh Navigation Steam & Co Ltd v. Evans (1927) AC 834, 842-843 – 70

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Cover Page – – – – – – – – – i
Title Page – – – – – – – – – ii
Declaration – – – – – – – – – iii
Certification – – – – – – – – – iv
Dedication – – – – – – – – – v
Acknowledgement – – – – – – – – vi
Table of Statutes – – – – – – – – viii
Table of Abbreviations – – – – – – – ix
Table of Cases – – – – – – – – x
Abstract – – – – – – – – – xi
Table of Contents – – – – – – – – xii
Chapter One
General Introduction
1.1 Background to the Study – – – – – – 1
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem- – – – – 5
1.3 Research Questions- – – – – – – 6
1.4 Aim and Objectives of the Research – – – – 6
1.5 Justification of the Research – – – – – 7
1.6 Scope of the Research – – – – – – 8
1.7 Research Methodology – – – – – – 8
1.8 Literature Review – – – – – – – 9
1.9 Organisational Structure of the Research – – – 18
Chapter Two
Conceptual Clarifications, the History, Nature and Scope of Employees’
Compensation in Nigeria
2.1 Introduction – – – – – – – – 18
2.2 Overview of the Evolution of Employees’ Compensation – 18
2.3 The Meaning of Employees’ Compensation under the Act – 27

2.4 The Scope and Application of the Employees’ Compensation Scheme in

Nigeria-39

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Chapter Three
The Legal Framework of Employees’ Compensation in Nigeria
3.1 Introduction – – – – – – – – 52
3.2 Grounds of Compensation – – – – – – 52
3.2.1 Mental Stress – – – – – – – – 53
3.2.2 Injury – – – – – – – – – 56
3.2.3 Hearing Impairment – – – – – – 64
3.2.4 Occupational Disease – – – – – – 67
3.2.5 Death – – – – – – – – – 69
3.3 Scales for Compensation – – – – – – 71
3.3.1 Scale of Compensation for Temporary Partial Disability – 72
3.3.2 Scale of Compensation for Temporary Total Disability – – 74
3.3.3 Scale of Compensation for Permanent Partial Disability or
Disfigurement – – – – – – – 77
3.3.4 Scale of Compensation for Permanent Total Disability – – 81
3.3.5 Scale of Compensation in Fatal Cases – – – – 84
3.3.6 Scale of Compensation Relating to Enemy Warlike Actions 95
3.4 Vocational Rehabilitation – – – – – – 96
3.5 Procedures for Claim of Compensation – – – – 99
3.5.1 Employee’s Notification of Injury – – – – – 100
3.5.2 Application for Compensation – – – – – 102
3.5.3 Limitation of Action, Subrogation and Indemnity – – 106
3.5.4 Right of Appeal – – – – – – – 108

Chapter Four
Challenges of Employees’ Compensation in Nigeria
5.1 Introduction – – – – – – – – 112
5.2 Data Presentation – – – – – – – 112
5.3 Data Analysis – – – – – – – – 114
5.3.1 Challenges of Awareness — – – – – – 115
5.3.2 Challenges of Implementation – – – – – 116

Chapter five

Conclusion and Recommendations

6.1 Summary – – – – – – – – 122
6.2 Findings – – – – – – – – 127
6.3 Recommendations – – – – – – – 132

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6.4 Concluding Remarks – – – – – – 135
Bibliography – – – – – – – – 137

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