Museveni Opposes Liberalization of the Pension Sector as NSSF Turns 30

Police has denied allegations that the manner in which its officials chased people from the beach might have caused the death of 13 people that drowned while having fun at different beaches along Lake Victoria.

Aero, online Spennah, viagra Lido beaches where about 50 people a believed to have drowned during the Christmas festivities, have been closed off by Police.

The police spokesperson, Fred Enanga confirmed during a press conference on Tuesday that at the lawful 6:30 pm, Police began calling people out of the water but in a peaceful manner.

“Our officers urged people to get out of the water when it exceeded time but this can’t be a reason for the death of these people. You must understand that police was all along available at the different beaches,” Enanga said.

The police mouthpiece revealed that a team comprising of the Police Air Force at Entebbe, the Entebbe Municipal Council management and the CIID officers from Kibuli have commenced investigations into the big Christmas tragedy.

Police had by yesterday recovered 13 bodies out of the estimated 50 people who went missing on the shores.

Police suspects that most of the deceased were dangerously drunk when they went swimming in the deep waters.

“Entebbe Municipal Council Management will help us find out whether these beaches were compliant with the set guidelines as per their licenses,” said the police spokesperson.


Enanga revealed that the beaches would remain closed until the final report is issued by the investigating teams since they are condoned off as crime scenes.

He added that if the reports come out before the New Year celebrations, these will be opened up for the festivities.

“A total of 10 bodies have so far been handed over to their relatives but the three are yet to be identified; we call on those people whose relatives are missing to check with Mulago hospital mortuary.”
President Yoweri Museveni has described as unconvincing, viagra sale the proposed amendments in the country’s pension sector that seek to open in up to private players.

The ministry of finance planning and economic development introduced on the floor of parliament, try the Retirement Benefits Sector Liberalization Bill which if passed would put an end to the ‘monopolistic powers’ of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to run the county’s pension sector.

Matia Kasaija [L] the Minister of Finance which introduced the Pensions liberalization Bill
The new reforms presently being fostered by the regulatory body Uganda Retirements Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA) would see private companies come on board to manage worker’s savings, which currently remains solely the responsibility of NSSF.

President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday evening made it clear that the proposed amendments don’t have his backing.

Former Finance Minister Syda Bbumba
Former Finance Minister Syda Bbumba

“I am a good soldier when I am convinced,” he said. “But nobody has convinced me about why the pension sector needs liberalization.”

“Some people have been coming to me with this idea that the sector will be more efficient when private players are allowed in, but I just kept quiet.”

Museveni was last night speaking at the NSSF’s 30th anniversary dinner held at Serena Conference Center in Kampala.

Guests arrive at the dinner
Guests arrive at the dinner

He defended the status quo, noting that splitting up the management of workers’ savings would hamper the enhancement of its value.

“Having one player as is the case today is advantageous in a way that you have this huge sum of money which is available for any useful projects,” he said.

“Unless these people (URBRA) are saying that the fund is being mismanaged, they’ll really have to convince me more.”

Museveni with the Finance Minister, NSSF MD and Board Chairman Patrick Byabakama Kaberenge
Museveni with the Finance Minister, NSSF MD and Board Chairman Patrick Byabakama Kaberenge [R]
He further explained that bringing more players on board would make management of pension funds more expensive.

“Now we are paying one set of managers very well, but if you disperse the sector, you will have a bigger group of managers to pay,” he noted.

UBC' Jane Kasumba
UBC’ Jane Kasumba

Proponents of the pension liberalization assert that it is not only effective, but has also worked smoothly in a number of countries.

They also believe that private players would encourage more savers to come on board, thereby expanding the pension sector. Currently, about 200,000 workers are saving with NSSF.

The reforms however have faced stiff resistance from a number of stakeholders majorly the current leadership of NSSF, who went as far as engaging members of parliament to convince them to shelve the bill, much to the disappointment of URBRA.

At the function, President Museveni praised the NSSF’s managing director Richard Byarugaba for revamping the fund it its current glory.

Museveni said he reappointed Byarugaba to reward his hard work
Museveni said he reappointed Byarugaba to reward his hard work

This he said was the reason he renewed his contract in October last year. .

“This man has grown NSSF from Shs 1.8billion to 6trillion today. And then I heard people saying agende, angende. Why do you send away people who are doing some good work?” queried Museveni to loud cheering.

NSSF which started as a small department of the Ministry of Labor in 1967 was rolled out in 1985 as an autonomous body, following a set of reforms in the social security sector.

Dance performers at the dinner
Dance performers at the dinner

In the last 5 years, the fund has seen its assets grow from Shs 1.8billion to 6 trillion, the equivalent of 6% of the county’s GDP; making it the largest social security fund in East Africa.

Speaking at the event, the MD Mr Byarugaba asked the president to include the NSSF amongst his favorite government parastatals.

“You have recognized a lot of parastatals that have performed well, most notably URA and KCCA. Today we’d like you to include and mention us amongst those government bodies that have added value to their customers,” he implored. The president nodded gently in his seat, in approval.

Museveni hands a Leadership award to Christine Kyayongo, wife of the deceased former NSSF Chairman Ivan Kyayonka
Museveni hands a Leadership award to Christine Kyayonka, wife of the deceased former NSSF Chairman Ivan Kyayonka

“One if the challenges we used to face was the turnaround time. It used to take us 105 days to pay our members. Today a member needs only 10 days to have their benefits wired onto their accounts,” Byarugaba bragged.

“Our compliance level has also grown. We used to be at 50%. (The number of companies registered with us that did pay their workers savings). Today the compliance exceeds 80% and so is our customer satisfaction level.”

Ministry of Gender's Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana [L] who is also on the NSSF Board, chats with the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija
Ministry of Gender’s Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana [L] who is also on the NSSF Board chats with the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija
In turn, the president advised the fund to start investing in long term government projects especially infrastructure.

“I encourage you to invest in our infrastructure such as power dams, the railway and roads,” he said.

Museveni poses withe NSF leadership
Museveni poses withe NSF leadership

Real estate too Museveni added, would be a lucrative venture for the fund.

“The demand for houses is very big. The people in the Diaspora are making a lot of money and they want to build houses. They send money to their relatives who just eat it, until they are discouraged and they give up. They need someone to liberate them from their relatives.”

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