Minister’s Shs6 billion request was irregular – NSSF Board

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A Shs6 billion request by the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon. Betty Amongi, to facilitate activities to expand the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) was irregular, the NSSF board chairperson, Peter Kimbowa, has said.

He made the revelation while appearing before the select committee investigating allegations of mismanagement of NSSF on Wednesday, 01 February 2023.

Kimbowa said that the board declined approval of the Shs6 billion because the fund’s governing body is not fully aware of the intended purpose of the requested funds.

“The board requested management to come up with a comprehensive work plan and examine how the various activities are going to be resourced and we also examine the accountability matrix that will be attached to this project. This has not happened,” Kimbowa said.

Kimbowa’s submission, however, contradicted a statement made by the minister during plenary sitting on 19 January 2023.

Hon. Karim Masaba (Indep., Industrial Division, Mbale City) read the Parliament Hansard in which the minister said that the NSSF board had approved the request of the Shs6 billion and the work plan.

Committee chairperson, Hon. Mwine Mpaka, then asked Kimbowa if the minister’s statement to Parliament was not true.

“The Parliament Hansard is clear and I need you to answer either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if the minister was lying to Parliament,” said Mwine Mpaka.

Kimbowa said that since there is no board resolution on the minister’s request, it is proof that it was not approved.

Workers’ MPs, Hon. Arinaitwe Rwakajara (L), Hon. Margaret Rwobushaija and Hon. Abdulhu Byakatonda attending the committee

The chairperson of the fund’s finance committee, Silver Mugisha, explained that when the proposal was tabled before his committee, the NSSF management resolved to evaluate whether it aligns with the fund’s budget strategy.

“When we sent the budget for approval to the minister, the feedback was that it is approved but there was an idea that we allocate Shs6 billion for certain activities,” said Mugisha.

Workers’ MP, Hon. Charles Bakkabulindi, wondered how investment plans are initiated.

“Does the finance committee sit before the board or the board sits first. Who was sneaking the Shs6 billion for the final approval of the board? I want the board members to be mindful that we have all the figures and the papers,” Bakkabulindi said.

On 19 January 2023, the House resolved to institute a committee to inquire into the operations of NSSF following reports of corruption and mismanagement of the Shs17.9 trillion fund.

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