NASSIT Boss Commended

 

One year into his leadership, tens of thousands of contributors of the National Social Security Insurance Trust (NASSIT) scheme nationwide have reportedly expressed profound satisfaction at the positive changes that have been effected at the Trust.

These changes, according to contributors, have expedited the payment of benefits and gratuities to pensioners, as well as invalidity and survivors’ benefits which before now, used to drag on for several months or years for the process to be completed. They also commend the government for its generosity in increasing the pension of pensioners who had been receiving Le25, 000.00 each to a minimum of Le250, 000.00 since the indefatigable Director General took over the Trust.

In the spirit of the ‘New Direction’ vision of bettering the lots of those who have either worked or are still working assiduously for the country, President Julius Maada Bio in his wisdom found it expedient to appoint Mohamed Fuad Daboh on 30th May, 2018 to replace his predecessor, Joseph Sedu Mans.

On 4th June, 2018 Mohamed F. Daboh got parliamentary approval and took over officially as NASSIT Director General on Thursday 7th June. Prior to his elevation to that enviable position, he had served dutifully as Deputy Director General of the Trust and therefore had in-depth knowledge of the administration, management and operations of NASSIT.

Coming from a sound practical banking and investment background, and having worked at the Standard Chartered for ten years before proceeding to the United Kingdom for a postgraduate qualification in Banking and Financing Management, Fuad Daboh no doubt has a leadership vision of a NASSIT that is financially viable standing on a solid foundation of strong work ethics of discipline, fairness, equity and professionalism. These glowing attributes, coupled with cordial interpersonal relationship in the workplace and efficiency in delivering on the core mandate for which NASSIT, were set up by the erstwhile Kabbah administration for Sierra Leonean civil and public servants, as well as those working in the private sector and the self-employed, to have dignified retirements in the form of social security which NASSIT is administering.

It could be recalled that NASSIT came into being on 12th July, 2001 by Act No.5 of 2001 enacted by Parliament. The Act received presidential assent on 20th July, 2001 and the Trust started operations on 1st January, 2002, when contributions commenced. The creation of NASSIT as a social security outfit was based on, amongst other things, the universal quest by mankind to free itself from the financial insecurity in old age after retirement, knowing how poverty breeds social ills and drastically reduces human dignity. Social security is the replacement of lost income when you are no longer working.

As such, NASSIT was charged with the responsibility of administering the country’s National Pension Scheme; a social scheme that provides financial security to all employees in Sierra Leone in the form of old age benefits, invalidity benefits and survivors benefits on social insurance principles.

Keen on first ensuring that staff morale is at its highest in carrying out the Trust’s mandate, on assumption of office, Fuad Daboh conducted a tour of the Trust’s branches in Bo, Kenema and Makeni and the sub-branch at Old Yengema Road in Koidu city, Kono District to talk with staff and to have firsthand information on NASSIT investments in the country.

What the new NASSIT DG promised staff was a new dawn where every employee has to be on their toes in ensuring that the Trust lives to the expectations of its contributors. Consequently, he therefore called on the entire staff to change their tardy work attitude, such as lateness, idleness, gossiping, pull-him-down syndrome, among others.

The DG also entreated the entire staff to celebrate the gains made by the Trust over the years through their hard work and to brace up for facing the challenges ahead, noting that NASSIT has the requisite human resource capital to change the negative perception that its contributors and the public used to have about the Trust as a poor service provider. He therefore appealed for staff unity and cooperation, and assured that no staff would be discriminated against under his leadership.

NASSIT, he told staff, is a service, operational and financial institution which end product is contributor satisfaction. As such, the task ahead of all was how to earn the respect of customers and give them value for their contributions, stating that the Trust should be seen as a center of excellence.

At a national press seminar past Friday, 17th May, 2019 in Freetown, the Chairman of the programme, Director Peter Jusu Kenah noted that NASSIT has well-established structures for carrying out effectively its mandate – those that carry out the core functions and others that support the functions – Management, Operations, Investment and Benefits divisions.

Operations and benefits payment, according to the NASSIT DG, are at the forefront of their business as social security institution, as they are the reason for the establishment of the scheme. To enhance their operations, Fuad Daboh said, recently 15 motorbikes were provided for inspectors in the Operations Department to enhance their mobility in carrying out their duties in addition to training that they have already received to ensure social security compliance.

Mr. Daboh also gave a comprehensive report on the achievements of the Trust since he took over in May, 2018. One of them is the telephone hotlines that have made it easier for its numerous customers and the general public to easily and conveniently assess their services from the comfort of their places.

The DG reported that at the end of the first quarter of 2019, NASSIT had registered 15,559 institutions with 223,475 insured members. Between January and March 2019, the Trust, he disclosed, collected Le111.83 billion as contribution income from both public and private sector establishments.  As at March 2019, the DG said, the Trust had 21,537 pensioners on its payroll with total benefit expenditure (pensions, gratuity and grants) for the period January to March 2019 amounting to Le 47.99 billion.

On the promise he made just after his appointment that the new North/West region would be served, Mr. Daboh confirmed that NASSIT is on the verge of finishing and commissioning a regional office in Port Loko that would serve as the regional headquarters like they have in Bo, Kenema and Makeni.

It could be recalled that NASSIT was one of the four public sectors selected by the Minister of Finance for special forensic technical audit. Mr. Daboh informed that the Trust was fully in compliance with the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for clarifications on the issues raised in the recent technical audit report and awaits the Committee’s findings.

Also, the DG informed that NASSIT has finished the spadework for the establishment of Social Security Court for defaulters who fail to comply, such as employers who deliberately fail to pay the 10% contributions for their employees as stipulated by the NASSIT Act. Mr. Daboh concluded by assuring the entire nation that the Trust is a center of excellence and also believes and upholds its core values of transparency and accountability.