Fuad Daboh NASSIT DG With A Difference

 

In the fight against poverty, old age financial insecurity as well as fostering national development, Mohamed Fuad Daboh was appointed by President Julius Maada Bio to head the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT), the most strategic national institution responsible for giving security to employees across the country that reach retirement age. In the same vein, Dr. Samuel Jibao was appointed to head the country’s bread basket – the National Revenue Authority (NRA) and Francis Ben Kaifala to head the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) to clamp down on corruption. The trio has proved to be very pivotal since their appointments in 2018 in vigorously pushing forward the president’s dream of changing the country’s governance and management narrative from incompetence and inefficiency to professionalism and efficient service delivery on behalf of the people.

In the case of Fuad Daboh, as he is commonly known, he, together with his able and result-oriented Deputy, Mohamed Gondoe, are desirous in securing the assets of NASSIT and promoting the wellbeing of its contributors with an admirable competence accessory, having worked at first with the Standard Chartered Bank – Sierra Leone Limited as Country head of Human Resources from September 1995 to September 2005 before joining NASSIT as Deputy Director of Human Resources.

Appointed by President Bio as Director General of NASSIT on the 30th May 2018, he first embarked on a familiarization tour of the Trust’s regional offices in Makeni, Kenema and Bo, with a brief stop-over at the NASSIT sub-office in Kono and held a get-to-know-each-other meetings with staff, followed by visits to all NASSIT investment sites and courtesy calls to stakeholders in the three townships. The Director General and team also visited the various investment project sites in Makeni, Bo and Kenema, including the plazas and transport terminals, the affordable houses and the Regional Managers’ quarters, then under construction.

He informed NASSIT staff that his visit was not to talk on Operations, Investment or Systems but to appeal to all that a ‘New Direction’ dispensation had come to NASSIT, a new dawn in the affairs of
not only NASSIT but the personal lives of every staff of the institution.

Mr. Daboh stressed on the importance of human capital in performing the Trust’s mandate, noting that no matter the willingness of the employers or institutions to comply with the scheme, the kind of infrastructure and the ICT facilities, “if you don’t have the requisite human capital then you are nowhere”.

Setting the tone for a new dawn, he called on all staff to reconcile stating that their ability to move on in the mist of such adversities makes NASSIT a good institution.

Commenting on the major challenge faced by NASSIT, Mr. Daboh said that over the years, the Trust allowed the public to define them.
“In their definition we are considered a defunct, short sighted and purposeless institution. We have allowed them to mourn the very things we celebrate. Contributors come to us and return frustrated, and in all of this, none of us had stood firm to define the situation. This has become our definition. It has affected all facets of our work: Operations, Investment, Customer Service and Benefits.”

“What do we do?” “How do we turn around this bizarre situation?” How do we earn the respect of our customers and give them value for their service?” He asked, whilst lamenting the shoddy manner in which the Trust served its customers. “We have
put out messages to our customers that we are a center of excellence. We have shown them our core values that define us and they come to our environment with that expectation but we have not kept to those promises. We give appointments to our clients but when they come we are not there to fulfill our promise; they go home indifferent, crestfallen and regretting to have
believed us in the first place.”

Thus, the DG’s assignment since his appointment has been how to change this negative image of the trust positively through the following:

  • Commitment to turn the Trust around
  • Constant interaction and engagement with the press as an essential development partner
  • Redirecting of the focus of NASSIT to its core functions
  • Ensuring that quality and excellent service is provided

The achievements so far have been:

  • Raising of the minimum monthly pension for retirees by the New Direction Government
  • Provision of motorbikes to enhance mobility of staff engaged in operations
  • Establishment of hotlines on Orange and Africell networks to ensure easy access to information by customers
  • Establishment and operationalizing of a Social Security court to enhance compliance and increase membership
  • Setting up of Regional office in North/West Province to create easy access for customers
  • Training of staff in key operations disciplines

In all of these, NASSIT remains focused on its core mandate of collecting contributions and paying benefits at the onset of a contingency, with Mr. Daboh at the outset having told staff across the country: “No more free ride, the era of babysitting is over.”

On the attitude of staff, Mr. Daboh informed all that his philosophy is rooted in discipline and fairness. He called on all staff to desist from late coming, tiredness and be punctual at work, saying that the Director of Operations will be doing on the spot visits to monitor staff performance in line with laid down principles of the organization. He reaffirmed his commitment to fairness and equity in the organization, saying everyone would be rewarded on the basis of their personal merit and on the content of ability.

As it continues fulfilling its mandate, in the 1st quarter of 2019, NASSIT had:

  • 15,559 registered institutions
  • 233,475 insured members
  • Collected Le111.8 billion as contribution income
  • 21,537 pensioners
  • Paid Le47.9 billion as pensions, grants and gratuities
  • Generated return of Le389.8 billion from its investments

To ensure safe returns on contributions, NASSIT reports that it is doing well in key investment areas, such as fixed income assets, T-Bonds, equity share in firms and real estate rental.

Under the leadership of Mr. Daboh, in helping push forward the ‘New Direction’ government’s desire to provide quality education at all levels of education, NASSIT has taken the bold step to build student hostels in five university and college campuses across the country that will grant access to lodging on campus for students, especially those that come from far away that as at now are greatly constrained with finding suitable accommodation whilst undergoing their studies.