National News

NSSF announces growth amid ‘mismanagement’ of Fund allegations

As the office of the Inspectorate of Government kick starts investigations into alleged abuse of office and mismanagement of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) by the former executive director, Mr Richard Byarugaba, the Fund has asked all the contributors to stay calm since their money is invested in the safest projects.

Addressing the press on Wednesday about the Fund’s half-year performance at Workers House in Kampala, Mr. Patrick Ayota, Ag. Managing Director of the Fund noted that they have invested in fixed income at 78%, 15 percent in equities at 15%, and in real estate at 7%.

He notes that they are on track to achieve their key performance targets for the Financial Year 2022/2023, noting that contributions collections and realized income grew by 22% and 17% respectively for half year as at end of December 2022.

“Half-year contributions collected by the Fund topped Ugx 786 billion, compared to UGX 643 billion over the same period last Financial Year. Realized income also topped UGX 1.054 trillion in December 2022 from UGX 900 billion over the same period last Financial Year, driven by higher interest rates on Fixed income investments.”

“This half-year performance, which is better than what we achieved over the same period in the previous Financial Year puts us in a very good position to achieve our 2022/23 targets. It also shows that our members – both employers and workers have trust in the Fund as their social security and savings partner,” Ayota said.

He revealed that the Fund registered 2.078 employers and 67,277 contributors respectively over the last 6 months and the Fund Asset size also increased from UGX 17.65 trillion in July 2022 to UGX 17.55 in December 2022.

Ayota says, however, the rate of growth reduced compared to the same period last Financial Year due to the increased benefits payout.

“NSSF paid UGX 712 billion over 6 months in December 2022 compared to UGX 364 bon over the same period in the previous Financial Year.”

“The increase in benefits payments does not surprise us because this is the trend in the first half of the year because qualifying beneficiaries tend to wait for interest rate declaration it the end of September every year before they submit benefit claims. That is why in the month of October and November following interest declaration, we paid Ugx 217.9 billion and Ugx 208.6 billion respectively.”

Commenting on the planned initiatives to recruit savers from the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and informal sectors, Ayota said that the Fund is ready to fulfill its mandate following presidential assent to the National Social Security Fund (Amendment) Act 2022

He said that the Fund will roll out a recruitment plan after the issuance of the Regulations by the minister of Gender, Labour, and Social Development

“Our plan revolves around 2 strategic pillars-creating the capacity of Ugandans to save and creating a willingness by Ugandans to save. That will enable us to achieve the overriding national goal of expanding coverage of basic social security in Uganda from 1.3m members with balances in NSSF to 15m Ugandans by 2035. A capacity to save will also tackle the strategic challenge of ensuring compliance with the NSSF Act as amended,” Ayota said.

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