October 21, 2015 By Jariatu S. Bangura
Members of Parliament from both sides of the aisle have urged officials at the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) to invest in better housing that would benefit the lives of low income earning Sierra Leoneans instead of only targeting the affluent.
Speaking during the approval of nominees to different institutions, including NASSIT Board of Trustees, Hon. Claude D.M. Kamanda said the trust fund should spend money on projects that would be beneficial to Sierra Leoneans, especially contributors.
He recommended that Parliament summon officials at the institution and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, through the Committee on Labour, to explain how they are managing the billions collected on behalf of workers in the country.
Hon. Kamanda called on other nominees to work according expectation, singling out nominees to the Public Service Commission, whom he said should work in collaboration with ministries, departments and agencies when recruiting, as most recruits are not competent for their jobs.
Also, Hon. Jusufu B. Mansaray observed that although NASSIT has been investing in many projects, including housing, he was yet to see any built for ordinary Sierra Leoneans.
He opined that nominations are made as a result of honesty and hard work and in the interest of the country.
Minority Leader of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai, said NASSIT should be building houses for young couples, fresh graduates and teachers who cannot afford to build houses or rent apartments, noting that such would help improve the lives of the youth and vulnerable.
“Let us look at the lives that cannot afford payment of rents due to the jobs they find themselves in. They want to live in a comfortable house but cannot afford the payment; houses should be built for this category of people and payments made based on their job. But here NASSIT is building houses for the high and mighty, which is affecting the institution in paying benefits to the old and those that have been retired. Huge sums of money are in NASSIT but the investment made is not benefiting Sierra Leoneans that own it,” she maintained.
The nominees interviewed include Augustine Sahr Torto, board member Public Service Commission; Hamid Abdul Kamara, board member Sierra Leone Postal Services; P.C. Alameen Kanneh, board member Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO); Buffy Bathan Bailor, board member Road Maintenance Fund Administration; Francis Hinga Lahai, board member National Public Procurement Authority; and Fayia Musa Tucker, board member National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) Board of Trustees.