NSSF board: We did not approve Shs6 billion pay
What you need to know:
The board says did not have a comprehensive work plan and detailed activities planned for the money
The board members and management staff of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) have said they did not remit the Shs6b allegedly requested by the Gender Minister for utilitising for different unspecified activities in her ministry.
They distanced themselves from the pay claim while interfacing with the Parliament’s Select Committee probing the Fund yesterday.
“Did the board approve the Shs6b request from the minister? And if so, why? …because the Shs6b was going to do work within the Gender ministry and yet the Gender ministry has capacity to budget for its own operations and not use the savers money,” Mr Mwine Mpaka (Mbarara City South), the committee chairperson, said.
In response, Mr Peter Kimbowa, the NSSF board chairperson, who was leading the team, said the board did not approve the release of the money.
“Of course not. We have not approved the Shs6 billion because the board is full aware of the inniatiave that is underpinned under this project. The board has requested [NSSF] management to come up with a comprehensive work plan and we examine how the various activities are going to be resourced and we also examine the accountability metrics that will be attached to this project. This has not happened,” Mr Kimbowa said.
Unsatisfied with the responses, Mr Mpaka asked whether the Shs6b request went through the proper channels, and who wrote to the board.
The MPs said the responses from the NSSF board members were unclear and needed a lot of verification.
Mr Karim Masaba (Industrial Division, Mbale City), brought to the attention of the board Ms Amongi’s previous remarks on the floor while presenting a statement on the NSSF saga.
“They gave me a detailed road map and work plan [and] I want to lay on table the detailed work plan that the managing director and his team gave me that will constitute the activities under NSSF for the Shs6b. Madam Speaker, I would like to state that the Shs6b budget I approved is appropriated under the NSSF operations budget for the Financial Year 2022/2023.”Mr Masaba quotes Ms Ms Amongi as having told Parliament earlier.
“The minister [Amongi] was reporting as if this was something already passed, approved and already in the system,” Mr Masaba said.
“So who is telling lies now,” Mr Mpaka asked the board members.
After continuously going back and forth on the matter for moe than 30 minutes, Mr Kimbowa finally stated in his concluding remarks: “I have not seen any work plan.”
Mr Mpaka responded that it is all they wanted to hear from the board rather than taking them in circles.
In reference to what legislators termed as “Kapeeka” visits, alluding to Gen Salim Saleh, the coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation, the board members denied claims of receiving any instructions from him on managing the affairs of NSSF.
The NSSF management team led by Mr Patrick Ayota, the Fund’s acting managing director, also interfaced with the committee and the Shs6b money was also predominant in the discussion.
Mr Ayota said “no money has been sent anywhere.”