By Mr. Seedy S. Fofanah
The Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation saga has been going on for almost seven months now and nothing has been done about it by the Gambia government. The things are becoming boredom and worrisome on the poor Gambian pensioners and the people that worked at the SSHFC.
The Managing Director of the SSHFC, Mr. Mohammed Lamin Manjang has been on the job for almost 18 months and he was able to turn the SSHFC into a first class investment institution and uplift the image of the institution to a more reputable corporation of which, all Gambian can now be proud off though. Many Gambians were introduced and came to be aware of the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) through the sessions of the Commission of Inquiry into the financial dealings of former President Jammeh.
The former President Yahya Jammeh used to siphoned money from SSHFC account for his personal uses. Do Modou Camara and his group of disgrungled staffers will tell me they were not aware of these things going in at SSFHC? President Adama Barrow appointed Mr. Mohammed Lamin Manjang to help him make a reform of the system at SSHFC. Mr. Manjang, since his appointment is working very hard in trying to achieved those reforms.
Mr. Manjang is the only Managing Director that was able to make great achievement since the inception of SSHFC by the act of the parliament in 1981. He was able to turn a D1.6 million loss in 2016 into a D83.5 million profit which was achieved despite very strong income though. Among all the former managing directors of SSHFC, tell me who has done this type of profit making achievement and turn the SSHFC into a great institution of which all Gambian pensioners can now boost off though.
There are lots of damages caused at the SSHFC during the Jammeh’s era by the former managing directors. These were evident from the cost management measures implemented by Mr. Manjang since he took the office to date, which has yielded dividends because the total costs were down by D88 million in 2017-a figure that is expected to improve further and significantly at the end of 2018. If Modou Camara and his enablers are boosting of Secretary General Habibu Drammeh’s supports and misusing pensioners’ monies on self clandestinely, let them be aware that those days have now gone in the new Gambia.
However, interestingly..,SSHFC is 100% owned by the poor Gambian pensioners and those who were working in either government or private sectors all contributed to the SSHFC contribute to the National Provident Fund and the Federated Pensions Funds as a saving for them when they retired at the end of their working services. Then, the SSHFC will pay them monthly some of token that they were savings into their National Provident and Federated Pensions Funds.
The managing director of Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation Mr. Mohammed Lamin Manjang has promised that the Corporation under his leadership will never act on executive directives to disburse any funds without appropriate means and procedures, as it was the case during the former regime. So, Mr. Manjang has come to safeguard that, mismanagement of the pensioners’ monies.
He is does not compromise on his words that he had promised to the Gambian pensioners in protecting their hard earn money and as long as Manjang is the Managing Director of SSHFC. Mr. Manjang, has vowed to safeguard the Gambian pensioners monies by putting it into better investment opportunities rather than mismanaging their funds. This is what people like Modou Camara don’t want to see because Manjang has blocked all their avenue and sources of getting monies from SSHFC.
So, people like Modou Camara and SSHFC Finance Director were not happy with Mr. Manjang’s style of leadership and management. The stood against in defiance with his authorities by marching to the State House in demand of Mr. Manjang’s resignation as managing director of SSHFC. This group of disgruntled staff led by one Mr. Modou Camara has been agitating for change of Mr. Manjang, as a Managing Director of SSHFC, because of reasons that could only be characterized as flimsy excuses though. These disgruntled staffers at SSHFC, want to maintain the old system that benefits them at the expenses of poor Gambian Pensioners monies with 130,000 (one hundred and thirty thousand).
The Government of Adama Barrow should not let these disgruntled staffers of SSHFC to demonstrate by even going to the extent of locking the main gate of SSHFC compound. The government must empowered and give full support to Mr. Managing Director, management, Board and staffs in executing their mandate.