Golden Dreams or Wild Schemes? New NSSF MD Pledges Titanic 50tn Shs in Assets by 2035

Headline NSSF New Head Uganda
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Kampala, Uganda – August 28, 2023 – The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is planning to grow its assets from Shs 18.4 trillion to Shs 50 trillion by the year 2035, according to the recently appointed Managing Director, Patrick Ayota. Ayota, who took up his position five days ago for a five-year term, shared this goal during a media briefing in Kampala on August 23.

The objective to reach Shs 50 trillion in assets falls under the organization’s “Vision 2035,” which Ayota highlighted as a strategic focus for the future. Formerly the Deputy Managing Director since 2017, Ayota took over from Richard Byarugaba, whose contract had ended.

“Our primary focus in the coming decade and beyond will be on extending social security coverage to more of Uganda’s workforce and ensuring the long-term viability of the Fund,” Ayota remarked. He pointed out that the Fund had already made substantial progress in its previous 10-year Strategic Plan, which aimed to achieve targets such as reaching Shs 20 trillion by 2025, enhancing customer and staff satisfaction, and expediting benefits payments.

In alignment with their new direction, Ayota announced the intention to elevate the Fund’s coverage from its current 10% to 50% of the country’s workforce within the same timeframe.

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Ayota also acknowledged the NSSF Act’s amended legal mandate and outlined the development of “Vision 2035,” which aims to enhance the Fund’s involvement in the lives of Ugandans while fostering long-term domestic savings. Despite challenges, NSSF Uganda maintains its position as East Africa’s largest social security Fund by value.

Speaking about the delay in benefits payment turnaround time, which has been consistent at 11 days over the past two years, Ayota attributed this to additional legal requirements for verifying NSSF members’ claims.

To realize their “Vision 2035,” NSSF plans to introduce initiatives promoting both the capacity and willingness of Ugandans to save. Ayota explained that capacity-building involves strategies such as job creation, intervention in the agriculture value chain, and support for the innovation ecosystem. Simultaneously, efforts to enhance willingness to save include empowering members through financial literacy, boosting compliance, and introducing value-added products.

Ayota expressed confidence in the Fund’s upcoming Annual Members’ Meeting on September 25, 2023, where positive performance figures will be disclosed. He also revealed that Gerald Kasaato had been appointed as the Acting Deputy Managing Director by the Minister of Gender, Labour, and Social Development, Betty Amongi, based on the recommendation of the Board of Directors. Kasaato, currently the Fund’s Chief Investment Officer, will serve in this capacity for six months or until a permanent Deputy Managing Director is appointed.

NSSF members and stakeholders are keen to observe Ayota’s leadership, particularly in addressing past political interference that had impacted the Fund’s operations.

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