Monday, August 27, 2018

Social Security in figures: Is SSHFC turning the corner?

SSHFC MD, Manjang
Many Gambians were introduced to Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) through intermittent sessions of the Commission of Inquiry into the financial dealings of former president Jammeh that has been sitting for well over a year now.

While many Gambians were introduced to what amounted to financial horror stories, SSHC has, under new leadership, including a Chairman of the Board, a retired international civil servant and a former employee of NAWEC, have started to make some progress.

While it might be a little too early to be excited about turn of events, there are a couple of signs to indicate the corporation is turning the corner.  The preliminary audited 2017 results show material improvement over 2016.  According to audited figures, 2017 Operating Profit is D83.5 million compared to 2016's loss of D26 million.

The Operating Profit of D83.5 million is higher than the total sum of corporation's Operating Profits of the previous four years 2013 - 2016.  This result was achieved despite strong income headwinds.

Investment income or recurring income in 2017 is D23 million better than in 2016.  The corporation cost management strategy implemented in 2017 seems to be working with total cost down by D88 million.  It is anticipated that the cost containment strategy will continue to the implemented in the years ahead, according to management sources.

What is satisfying also, according to management, is that "every single fund was profitable in 2017 compared to 2016 when only the Pension and Injuries Fund were profitable." 

The prospects for a complete turnaround are bright provided that the management strategies and policies already in place and in the pipeline are implemented with minimal distractions designed to impede progress in one of the country's most important institution.

DISCLOSURE: My spouse is a retiree who's former employer contributed in SSHFC