Government has blocked a move by Workers Member of Parliament, Dr. Sam Lyomoki to table a private members National Social Security Fund Amendment Bill, 2019.
The bill seeks to amend the NSSF Act, 1985. In his motion of parliament, Lyomoki argues that much as NSSF has for the past 10 years performed well and even increased the number of savers, there are gaps that must be filled to improve its performance.
Among the gaps are that the Minister of Finance appoints the board, the managing Director and Deputy Director, which makes government wield too much power on the body. He also argued that the composition of the NSSF board needs to be changed to ensure that workers and employers have permanent slots, not the current situation where the minister may or may not appoint such representatives on the board.
Lyomoki also says that the NSSF Act must be updated to reflect the challenges of unemployment through granting access to midterm benefits for members who currently stand at 2.5 million. He explained that his motion is prompted by the fact that government has failed to amend the NSSF Act since 2009.
However, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah paused debate on Lyomoki’s motion following information from three ministers that government is set to table the NSSF Amendment Bill in the next two weeks.
Florence Nakiwala, the Youth and Children Affairs Minister and Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana said that Lyomoki can wait for the government Bill to amend the NSSF Act.
Nakiwala asked for two weeks for government to consider Lyomoki’s proposals.
The Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana moved to support Nakiwala’s claim that there is a draft Bill.