NSSF Uganda Managing Director Richard Byarugaba received the gravel Wednesday, beginning the one-year term as chairman of the East and Central Africa Social Security Association (ECASSA) which seeks ways of improving social security coverage.
This was at the two-day Kampala ECASSA Policy Makers Conference that is held annually on a rotational basis in the region. It is intended to provide a platform for its members and policy makers to address social security challenges and seek better ways to promote social security development.
In his acceptance speech, Byarugaba said that although strides have been made to improve social security landscape, the region is still faced with a myriad of challenges which require concerted effort from respective governments.
“Most of the member states have introduced some form of social protection or have social security as a strategic priority but low coverage remains a major challenge. This is exacerbated by the informal sector which forms a large segment of the labour force remain outside the reach of social security and is not covered by any other forms of social protection,” Byarugaba told over 70 representatives of social security funds from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Burundi, and South Sudan.
Byarugaba added that the association will, going forward also work towards harmonising policies for the benefit of the entire region, for instance, the issue of benefits portability across national borders.
Under Byarugaba’s stewardship, the Fund last financial year showed positive performance with revenue increasing to Shs912b in 2016/17, cost to income ratio (money spent for every income made) collapsing to 12.5 per cent, numbers that resulted in a growth in interest rate paid to members to Shs81b in 2016/17.
Last week, the ambitious leader took journalists through part of the plans like grow NNSF’s 800,000 membership to 5 million, invest in real estate, shut down all physical branches and deliver an IT enabled access to services. He also announced a move to grow the Shs8.5 trillion financial assets to Shs20 trillion by 2022, a task he called “monumental” as the Fund has been growing at a rate of Shs1 trillion per year instead of Shs1.5 trillion.