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|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 10 Oct 2017 : 21:22:04
This man was an old seaman from British Colonial days, who was born on Haddington Street Banjul about 70 years ago,he is now dead.When my friend was getting near retirement age he went to Social welfare to enquire as to what pension he would receive from the time he worked for several Foreign companies the worker at the office did find that he was entitled to several pensions from the money that they had deposited,he asked when he would receive money paid from the pension that had been paid for him by these companies,he was told that many people were waiting and his name would go on the list for payment,he attended the office many times but never received any pension money.
I have no reason to doubt anything that he told me about his pension pot.
There may be many more Gambians who were owed money but never received any from their employment from times long past.
|7 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - 27 Sep 2018 : 21:59:53
Totally lost for words !!!
By: Our Parliamentary Correspondent
The staff of Social Security and Housing, Finance Cooperation (SSFHC) is said to be owing Gambian pensioners over 120 million dalasi.
This was revealed by Mambureh Njie, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs in the National Assembly during “question and answer” session held on Wednesday. According to him, SSFHC staffers owe pensioners monies in form of loans to the tune of one hundred and twenty-seven million, two hundred and forty-three thousand, one hundred dalasi and ninety-nine bututs (D127, 243,100.99). The staff was said to have taken a total of D 136,324,651.36 as loans in 2008 and were only able to pay D9, 081,550.40 leaving a balance of D127, 243,100.99 by June 2018. Pressed to give reasons why for a period of ten years the staff was not able to pay even half of the loan taken from pensioners’ coffers, Njie said that there was already some mechanism in place as far as loan recovery was concern. He told deputies that loans are deducted from sources and that as far as the staff loans are concerned there is no defaults. Further asked as to what happens if those staff members who took the loans are dismissed from the SSFHC, the Finance Minister was quick to say that loans are not given without collaterals and therefore assured the MPs that loans would be paid no matter what.
Responding to another question, Njie told members that the Gambia Transport Service Company (GTSC) was solely owned by the SSFHC and that there was no other shareholders.
||Posted - 23 Sep 2018 : 13:53:31
NO COMMENT !!!
By:Kebba AF Touray September 21, 2018
Mamburey Njie, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, revealed to the Members of the National Assembly that the Social Security for Housing and Finance Cooperation (SSHFC), is the sole owner of The Gambia Transport Service Company. Njie said this in response to a question asked by Member for Jarra East Sainey Touray, on behalf of Member Kombo South and Majority Leader, Kebba K Barrow, on the question of who the shareholders of GTSC were.
“It is hundred percent owned by SSHFC and there are no shareholders”.
In a question on the total amount disbursed to staff of SSHFC as loans and the amount recovered, as well as the balance outstanding to date, raised by the Jarra East NAM, Njie responded that from 2008 to June 2018, the total loan disbursed to the staff of SSHFC is D136, 324, 651.03; that the total amount recovered is D9,081,550.04 and the balance outstanding to date is D127, 243,100.99.
In a supplementary question asked by the Member for Upper Nuimi, Omar Darboe on plans to recover this loan from the staff of SSHFC, Njie said: “it is not the responsibility of the Ministry Of Finance to recover the loans, but SSHFC have Senior Management and as far as I know, the loans are being paid, and they did not report any default or something like that. So it is not our responsibility, but the Senior Management of the Corporation.”
When asked why the outstanding amount by the MP for Bakau Assan Touray, Finance Minister Njie said it was due to repayments, as the loans are deducted directly from their salaries.
Finance Minister Njie said that a total of eighteen million, three hundred and nine-teen thousand, six hundred and sixty seven dalasi, has been spent on the President’s just concluded dialogue with the people tour.
Njie disclosed this yesterday in response to a question asked by Majority Leader, Kebba K Barrow.
On how much has been generated in terms of savings from the vehicle policy from July 2018, a question raised by Amadou Camara, the Member for Nianija Constituency, Njie said Government has spent D52.7 million and more, on motor vehicles, in terms of expenses (purchase and maintenance) this year, than last year at the same period.
“Expenditure on purchase of fuel and lubricants went up by D7.4million, whereas expenditure on purchase of Motor Vehicle increased from D60 million, to D113 million this year, (January to July)”, he said.
On the rationale behind cutting travel expenses on business class, except for Ministers and the cost of the each budget on travel, Njie said the rationale is to reduce travel expenses; that because the ratio of cost of the business class ticket to that of the economy class, is about 3:1.
On the total value of debts assigned to AMRC, a question raised by Alagie Mbow, the Member for Upper Saloum, Finance Minister Njie said as of August 2018, total value debts assigned to AMRC, is D 1,429,637,530.00 and the outstanding balance stands at D1,083,860, 537.94.
||Posted - 10 Sep 2018 : 19:35:08
By: Kebba AF Touray
A group of people calling themselves Members of the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation[SSHFC], have called for interference of the government in the running of the corporation. They expressed this view at a meeting held on Saturday at the B O Semega Janneh Hall.
This meeting is a follow-up to the meeting held a week before. These SSHFC Members and their Board Representative were supposed to report on a meeting with the Vice President, with a view to resolving the Corporation’s ongoing saga.
The meeting was attended by scores of the Members and Board members, and has availed these members the opportunity to interact, clarify their doubts and put their concerns to the Board.
Dilating on the Board Representative Meeting with the Vice President report, Tamsir Sallah, said they had a meeting with the Vice President on Wednesday 5th September 2018 and a frank discussion with him.
He said that The Chairman of the Board put forward the concerns of the Board to the Vice President, that as a board and they should be given the trust they deserve to discharge their obligation and he promised that without government interference, the board would be able to deliver to expectation.
He added: “We appealed to them that as far as governance issues of Social Security is concerned, it should rest on the board, as provided by the…. Act. By virtue of that and what was heard from the members, there should be no government interference in the governance issue of the Social Security, because by doing so that means that they are also obstructing the powers vested in the Board, meaning that they don’t have any trust and confidence in the Board”.
Sallah emphasized that the Board should be fully left to decide on the ways and manners Social Security should operate as far as policy and disciplinary issues are concerned and that the Board should be allowed to deliberate and make decisions on the governance of Social Security.
“There was also a call for the Managing Director on leave to resume work and that the Investigative Panel instituted by the government to be put on halt. We requested for non-government interference, members stand by the decisions of the Board and that the investigative Panel be dissolved or put to stop”, he said.
He said they were made to know by the Vice President that as far as the Chairman of the Board is concerned, it is the government that appoints the Chairman of the Board and the Managing Director of the Social Security, citing them as the agents of government on issues regarding Social Security, in view of which the government had to constitute an investigative panel to probe into the issues and report back to them, from which they will make their decisions. He added that the VP assured them that the government will not undermine the credibility of the board.
Sallah assured the members that the Board will be resolute and will not relent in its efforts to making sure policy issues concerning Social Security will be diligently reviewed and will not compromise with critical issues of the Social Security, while urging the membership to be calm and allow the investigation to go ahead.
Ashyme Saine Kah, on the report on the Members of SSHFC and the Vice President, explicated that the Board and Members were invited by the Vice President, during which the Vice President showed them appreciation of the stand of the members and due to the many allegations levied against the MD, they have come up with the investigative panel to probe into the issue.
“My response to that was that we checked the constitution and what we saw was that section 175 is saying that if there is any panel that is supposed to be setup, it should be the Commission of Inquiry and not an investigative panel, because the problem is we don’t want anybody to undermine the Board, because we said in our resolution that the Members are fully behind the Board and the recommendations of the Board,” she explained. She further said that the Vice President expressed his appreciation but added that because of the allegations that the Social Security Staff are coming up with, they need another investigative panel outside to look into the allegation and give a recommendation.
She was concerned with the government trying to undermine the decisions of the Board. She said they put to them that whatever the outcome of the panel, they are also protecting their interest and they realised that the only person who can do that is the Managing Director.
She further said: “We told them that we cannot make any confirmation, because we are there on behalf of the members, but will convey the message to the members for them to discuss it in today’s meeting and whatever we have will be put in writing and send it to the government through the Board to know what our stand.”
Members have called for the full independence of the Board from government interference, a halt to the investigative panel, the Managing Director to resume work, who they said is on an administrative leave.
The members also recommended for the SSHFC Act to be reviewed, the Board to address Finance Ministry’s interference in the affairs of SSHFC, thorough audit of Social Security and the restructuring of the SSHFC among others.
||Posted - 06 Sep 2018 : 13:01:21
By Mathew K Jallow September 4, 2018
No one is clean in this epic revelation of insidious institutional corruption; no one. Left high and dry, Gambian pensioners, without realising it, have, for decades, been cheated of their pension savings. Gambia’s Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation has effectively morphed into a carnival of waste and abuse unmatched by any corruption and financial scandal in The Gambia’s history. Little or nothing is known of the abuse of the agency resources prior to the ascension of Yahya Jammeh to the ‘throne,’ but the tiff between its managing director, Manjang and SSHFC staff, reveals more about the culture of wanton disregard of pensioners interest, and more about the selfish interest of staff and its entire management; at the expense of pensioners hoodwinked and fleeced of their savings.
Recently, MD Manjang has done a good job peddling intent; rather than actually managing the total overhauling of this institution’s functioning. For, even as he instituted some cosmetic changes; he failed the first test of frugality by not restraining himself from abuse of agency resources. Most disturbing is MD Manjang’s per diem allowance of US$2,300, for leisure, falsified as official business, and his fairytale about missing a flight due to a traffic accident. But, perhaps what must kick one in the guts is the study travel of one Ms Bayo, to the tune of nearly D3,000,000 of pensioners’ savings. And in 2017 alone, Mr Manjang declared four foreign travels, which on the face, with one travel every quarter, doesn’t seem much, but what’s not disclosed is total per diem allowances for these travels.
Everyone is aware how overseas travel per diems allowances are designed to subsidise senior staff salaries, but which have little benefit to SSHFC as an agency. At this rate of travel, Mr Manjang and management staff would leave a huge gap in the financial outlook of the agency. But this disclosure doesn’t absolve other SSHFC management staff; far from it. After seeing the 10-point demand made by SSHFC staff, the financial mismanagement insanity at the agency became all too evident. And nothing in the staff 10-point demands comes close to addressing the pensioners’ interest; its all about the greed and entitlement of staff, who, like the management, think they are entitled to the resources of SSHFC; pensioners’ savings.
Evidently, the insane financial debauchery at SSHFC isn’t new; in fact, it was normalised years ago under Yahya Jammeh. Investing pensioners’ funds in order to generate more income from pension funds is a normal practice; however, in The Gambia, some senior management staff have engaged in an outrageous scam to defraud pensioners. SSHFC funds are placed in individual staff accounts and after a while, profits from this investment is added to staff private bank accounts; rather than in increasing pensioners’ monthly funds, to match annual rate of inflation. In reading the staff 10-point demands, it’s impossible not to feel like exploding. For instance; Demand F seeks to loosen red-tape on application of glasses, lens and referrals to Senegal, Dakar; Demand G seeks to open overseas travel and ‘motivational’ packages for management and staff; Demand I asks to honour good old traditions such as early pays and at least four (4) months of non-loan deductions; and finally, this one got me gnashing my teeth so hard, I was going to burst; Demand J asks to honour good old traditions as in Hajj and Rome packages for staff and other key stakeholders of SSHFC.
Anger over SSHFC staff’s sense of entitlement is mind-numbing. SSHFC’s current problems, as volatile as they seem, present The Gambia with a teaching moment that goes far beyond the four corners of SSHFC. This broad daylight robbery of pensioners’ funds is symptomatic of the pervasive corruption and egocentrism among Gambian civil servants in general. It is endemic and touches every level of the civil service; without exception. It’s estimated that D1.2 billion have been withdrawn from SSHFC funds, for private use and non-secured investments that produce no yields, and often go bust, at a huge loss to the pensioners. In total, SSHFC staff are estimated to hold a whopping D130 million in loans from the agency; an obscene amount that is both shocking and scandalous. In considering that staff of SSHFC will continue dipping into pensioners’ funds, each year, it’s more likely than not, that these loans may never be fully recovered, with the accrued interest. In the totality of the SSHFC’s negligent breaches of pensioners’ funds, what has become evident is that pension funds are utilised a bottomless money pit for staff and outside senior government staff.
Putting aside the ongoing SSHFC dispute for a moment, it seems evident that pension funds were scavenged by unscrupulous staff and senior government officials, and Yahya Jammeh, not only became the funds most chronic abuser, he emboldened the staff to overstep the boundaries of legality and into the depth of corruption and mismanagement. In reality, Social Security functions as a bank for government civil servants, in total deviation from its core mission, as a financial security net for the Gambia’s pensioners. If SSHFC funds were properly invested, those whose funds started back 1981 when SSHFC started, would have been making decent living from the accrued yields of their fund savings, but that’s not what’s happening. Each year, The Gambia’s Ministry of Finance should budget salary and other payments for SSHFC staff. SSHFC funds are not designed for staff salaries and ‘benefits’ and this practice needs to cease, so funds are reserved exclusively for pensioners.
This requires redeploying senior management who are practiced in the art of corruption and theft of agency funds. Rebuilding SSHFC from the ground up is necessary, in order to start from a clean slate, with a new mission statement for the agency. On Saturday, a meeting at Tango, sought to derail government’s plan to delve into Social Security staff complaints, but it’s inconceivable that a hodgepodge of amateurs with questionable motives as “fighters for pensioners” right will attempt to blackmail the president into following their own dictates. We only have one government at a time, but what seems so clear is that some pensioners are being exploited for one purpose only; undo the redeployment of MD Manjang. This purported interest in pensioners’ savings is laughable on its face and a ridiculous projection of power that doesn’t exist.
Most infuriating and laughable still is the group’s demand for President Barrow to disassemble the newly-instituted SSHFC commission, and accept the SSHFC board recommendations. On the contrary, this board should appear before the commission for dereliction duty; not present recommendations to the president, after being an integral element in the overall abuse and corruption at SSHFC; more specifically, in its failure to steer the agency towards efficiency, in the interest of pensioners. Due to this failure, the board has forfeited all rights to any longer represent government in the management of SSHFC. Instead, each board member should appear before the commission and explain their role in the cannibalisation of pensioners’ funds, over the years. And as in all things Gambian, the withering support for Mr Manjang has strong smell of tribalism which is completely unrelated to the pensioners’ interest and wellbeing.
||Posted - 06 Sep 2018 : 12:57:49
Madi M.K. Ceesay -
September 5, 2018
Unfortunately, the Social Security saga is not met with decisive step from the Gambia government and thus the government ended up suspending the Managing Director, Momodou Manjang and setting up of another panel of investigators in the wake of a so-called protest by some staff of the SSFHC.
In our opinion, setting up a panel was not necessary as the board of directors were enough to take a decision on the matter.
The government of the day should not allow a situation where some elements of the society will create the tendency of making the country ungovernable. Because if anytime something happens and government takes decision a group will act otherwise and government changes its position then, the likelihood is that some elements can make the state ungovernable at one point.
When a group of Social Security staffers took to the streets and marched on State House demanding to see President Barrow that was followed by sending one Mr. Momodou Camara on leave based on the advice of the board members then that was followed by some staff sealing the whole SSFHC House which was unlawful. The question is: who is the staff defending? Themselves or the pensioners’ interest? Now, let’s look at the run-down of what had happened in the past and no single staff spoke about those unfortunate actions.
First, it was about the D130 million which was loaned to staff members who are now publicly protesting against former MD Manjang and the source of that money was from pensioners fund at the SSFHC under the previous administration. This was revealed by the financial statements of the SSFHC and this was confirmed by Manjang in a public interview.
D1.7 billion went to Kanialia International Group (KGI) this was revealed at the Janneh Commission by former Finance Director and now acting Managing Director one Abdoulie Cham.
GRTS and GGC also received D37 million and D222 million respectively from the coffers of the pensioners money (SSHFC) and another 9.2 million was paid to GRTs for the broadcast of 2013 and 2014 CAF and European league all revealed at the Janneh Commission by Abdoulie Cham former Finance Director of SSFHC and now acting Dirtector SSHFC.
Another D118 Million was loaned to NAWEC also sourced from SSHFC as revealed by former MD SSHFC Edward Graham, another 35 Million Euros was invested in Gam Petroleum sourced from SSHFC as revealed by Tumbul Danso another former MD of SSHFC.
An audit exercise carried out by the National Audit Office from March 2013 to February 2016 found the following financial mismanagements D67.5 Million agreement with Gai Enterprise in March 2013 for construction for road at Brikama and Tujereng Housing Estates for payments that should have been D39. Therefore D23.6 million was a fraudulent transaction and that D30 million losses were made in the purchase of a land at Makumbaya in 2009.
More revelations of an undocumented cash withdrawals of $1million were made from SSHFC by staff during the political impasse whose identities needs to be reveal sooner or later by panel of investigators set up.
The Daily News suggests that the panel be squashed off and allow the board to function without interference by the state. The pensioner’s monies need to be secured.
||Posted - 11 Oct 2017 : 11:48:43
Very sad,work for nothing.
||Posted - 11 Oct 2017 : 10:11:29
This is still happening. If you follow the on going Janneh commission of enquiry you will see that the pensoners money at the SSHFC have all been misused. Simply, there is no money. Secondly, two months pension can't buy you a bag of rice.
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