Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Pensioners and contributing employers are victims of a mismanaged SSHFC and not the staff

Mohammed Manjang, Managing Director SSHFC
For the past several months, while the government allowed what was a purely  personnel matter has been allowed to morph into an industrial dispute, threatening the financial integrity of the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) and, by extension, the welfare of pensioners and employers who contributors to the Provident and Consolidated Pensions Funds.

Pensioners who have worked for 30 - 40 years with employers contributing towards their retirement have been experiencing hardships not of their own making.  Proceeds from employers' contribution were misapplied, misused and abused by the previous regime with the active participation of some past and current members of staff. 

Some of these very same staff currently engaged in illegal acts of public disorder by blocking access to a public building are now feigning victimhood.  What about those pensioners who cannot access their monthly benefits because the kitty is empty.  They have to wait for months so that their funds committed to short-term instruments yield dividends for the corporation to meet their monthly obligations to pensioners. 

Pensioners are the real victims and not a bunch of privileged staff oozing with the aura of self entitlement.  These disgruntled staff would like to continue enjoying more housing loans and other facilities and perks on the backs of hard working Gambians that have proven to be bad investments that threatens the solvency for the corporation.

The Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation was built with the sweat and tears of pensioners, prospective pensioners and particularly private sector employers, with little or zero financial stake from central government.  It is time that these unheralded and forgotten Gambians take a more active role in the management of the SSHFC by organizing themselves to protect what belongs to them. 

These category of Gambians are beginning to organize themselves to protect their interests and their pension benefits - both actual and anticipated - since the government appears to be interested in the welfare of a handful of disgruntled staff members with obvious support from State House and the Ministry of Finance.