By Isha S. Mansaray
“We have established a Special Security Court that will enhance compliances on institutions” were the words of National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) Director General Mohammed Fuaad Daboh during the weekly government press briefing held in the Ministry of Information and Communications conference room at Youyi Building, Freetown.
According to him, institutions complying with NASSIT would enhance its operation.
“Compliance is the backbone of the institution. If we are to pay our contingencies in the management of the institution, we need to have establishments that are complying. Compliance means ‘pay your contributions’.”
One of the key mandates of NASSIT is to establish provisions for retirement and other benefits to meet the contingency needs of workers and their dependents, and related matters.
Mr. Daboh furthered that it is employers’ duty to pay their employees’ contributions, stressing that there is a due date for such payments. “Employers are required to pay their employees’ contributions on or before the 15th of the ensuing month; otherwise, it will attract interests and penalties,” he advised.
The DG also expressed his agitation with institutions that flout the Act. “A good number of institutions have been collecting social security contributions of their employees and failed to turn it to NASSIT. That is not only a way of flouting the Act, but is also a fraudulent of transaction. The employers will deduct 5% from the employees as well as the deduction of percentage of the employer; but yet still, it is not reflecting into the contributions to NASSIT.”
He added that the employees’ income will be reduced by the 5%, but that employers still fail to complete their obligations to NASSIT. He considers it a criminal act, for which penalties will be levied.
“We have taken up employers to the court and those employers are not facing the judge in the Special Security Court,” he disclosed.
On his accomplishments, Daboh added that the institution has made improvements since his appointment in 2018. “We have increased registered establishments from 12,942 in June to 18,239 as at March 2021 hence an increase by 41%. We also increased in Insured Membership from 213,732 in June 2018 to 249,681 as at March 2021, which makes an increase of 17% in membership.”
Giving an update on the NASSIT Pension Payroll, DG Daboh said, “The total pensioners in the NASSIT Pension Payroll also increased from 24,002 in June 2018 to 27,546 as at March 2021; an increase by 15%.”
According Mr. Daboh, in order for the institution to maintain the credibility of the scheme, and to regularly monitor the true value of the Pension Payroll, they have conducted nationwide verification exercises for all categories of NASSIT pensioners, whose retirement they are currently verifying.
He closed by saying NASSIT has established coverage expansion in Port Loko and Moyamba with a Regional Office in Port Loko and the first District Office in Moyamba.