By Sylvester Samba.
In commemorating its fifteenth Anniversary, the Director General of the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT), Joseph Sedu Mans (Jnr) has confirmed that the total value of the Trust’s investment portfolio, as at the end of June 2017, stood at Le1.46 Trillion.
Mr. Sedu Mans made the statement yesterday on the occasion of the state opening of the second members’ conference of NASSIT held at the Bintumani International Conference Centre, Aberdeen in Freetown.
He also said the above figure is exclusive of cash balances at the Central and Commercial Banks which, in June 2017, stood at 1.99% of the total portfolio, while the US dollar reserved amounted to US$ 445.46 Thousand United States dollars.
The NASSIT Director General further explained that to put things in clear perspective, between December, 2014 and June 2017, which was the span of their last strategic plan, the Trust’s accumulated fund increased from Le923.80 Billion to Le1.46 Trillion representing a whopping 57.95% growth in the fund.
“Our institution is probably the biggest player in the Sierra Leone economy as our investment portfolio spreads across different sectors of the economy… it broadly comprises what we call liquidity – Matching Asset Profile (LAMP) and long term asset profile (LTAP)”, Mr. Mans noted.
Mr. Mans further explained that in consistent with International Standards and best practice in Social Security Administration the NASSIT Scheme has been periodically subjected to actuarial violations pointing out that the exercise is undertaken in other to test the liquidity and soundness of the scheme. “I am hereby pleased to inform members that the last of such violations that was conducted by our External Actuaries December, 2014 gave our scheme a clean of health…According to the report, the scheme is in a sound enough status to meet all its statutory obligations for an equilibrium period of twenty (20) years”, the Director General maintained.
He further explained that the Board of Trustees of NASSIT, in whose charge and keeping all NASSIT funds are held, always seeks to achieve their target through a careful selection of investments that guarantee requisite returns, ensures long term capital appreciation, and minimize overall risks while targeting crucial sectors of the economy with high growth potential. He also said in collaboration with the Parliamentary Sub Committee on Labour and Social Security, their Institution has over the past few years succeeded in recovery billions of Leones from a large number of public and private sector institutions (including district and city councils) that had been in default of payments of lawful NASSIT contributions.
“The mission of the NASSIT scheme, as clearly provided in the NASSIT Act No. 5 2001 is to administer a Social Security Scheme that provide financial security to all employees in Sierra leone in the form of old age, invalidity and survivors’ benefit, based on Social Insurance Principles”, Dr. Mans noted.
The Theme of the three (3) days conference which started yesterday is NASSIT at 15-Harnessing the Gains, Challenges and Opportunities towards improved service delivery.
The keynote speaker of the occasion was the Vice President Dr. Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh. In his statement, VP Foh congratulated NASSIT for coming that far and also thanked them for the progress gains the institution has made so far.
He pleaded with all employers to ensure that all their workers are registered with the NASSIT scheme so as to give them hope at the end of their retirement age. “NASSIT has touched the lives of thousands of Sierra Leoneans…I am therefore calling on NASSIT to make sure that they pay retirees’ benefits on time and make sure that they live a better life”, the Vice President pleaded.
Statements were also made by the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Mathew Teambo, Chairman, Board of Trustees, NASSIT Dr. Yeabu M. D. Kamara together with representatives from Ghana, Kenya, The Gambia and Rwanda.