By Lansana Fofanah.
The National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) on the 13th of January, 2019 celebrated sixteen-years of excellent service since its establishment in 2002.
The celebration was observed at the Blessed Michael Transi Catholic Church, Goderich, Freetown with prayer and glorification of God for seeing NASSIT at the forefront of social scheme for pensioners in the country.
Delivering a special sermon at the service, the Clergy of the Church, Rev. Father Joseph E. Bangura commended the late President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah for setting up what is known today as NASSIT and that the pillars of NASSIT are that of faith and resilience which makes them continue to grow from strength to strength.
Speaking tough, Rev. Bangura called on the management of NASSIT to use the occasion as a moment to reflect on the challenges and become more visible in the country so that, the misconception people hold against the institution will be changed and that will give confidence to people to willingly join the scheme.
Rev. Bangura, admonished that NASSIT should consider investing in low-cost housings that the average Sierra Leonean can afford to pay for as the current investment plan of NASSIT is not in line with the low income earners.
He cautioned that NASSIT should not be operated based on politics as politicians may come and go but NASSIT was established to stay forever.
Delivering his keynote address, the Director General of NASSIT, Mohamed Fouad Daboh, said that both Muslim and Christian prayers are held by the Trust at the end of every year to pray for their fallen colleagues and to ask God for guidance and mercies in their daily operations.
Director General Daboh said that despite numerous challenges, NASSIT continues to deliver on their mandate in ensuring that members are duly and timely paid their benefits as and when a contingency occurs. “Since my appointment as Director General of this institution on the 30th May, 2018 and duties handed over to me by the erstwhile Director General on the 7th June, 2018 I held several staff meetings with staff across the country during which I informed everybody that one of my main objectives would be to put operations and benefits payment at the center of our business as they are the reason for the establishment of the Scheme”, he said.
Mentioning some achievements of NASSIT in 2018, Director General Daboh said that the number of inspectors that interface with the public regarding the registration of employers and employees, the inspection of employment and financial records of employers and employing institutions were increased and also launched a telephone hot-line where customers can register their queries and concerns and to bridge the communication gap. He said that NASSIT will be collaborating with relevant stakeholders such as ILO, World Bank, MoHs, MLSS to design and implement a Social Health Insurance Scheme for Sierra Leone.