NOT ACCEPTABLE

95% NSSF top posts held in acting capacity - MPs

Fund running for over three years without substantive managing trustee, senior managers

In Summary
  • NSSF board has not been sending notices to the Inspectorate of State Corporations for the past four years.
  • Lawmakers said a situation where 95 per cent of top management positions are held in an acting capacity is not acceptable.
NSSF Building at Capitol Hill, Nairobi.
NSSF Building at Capitol Hill, Nairobi.

MPs have sounded the alarm over senior NSSF managers who have served in acting capacities for more than three years.

They include the position of Managing Trustee (same as CEO), for which interviews were held more than three months ago on June 26. The results have not been released.

Others are managers of Finance and Investments, Corporation Secretary, Finance, Capital Money Markets and Property Management.

The posts of ICT, Communications, and Property Development managers are the only ones with substantive managers.

MPs at the Public Investments Committee (PIC) chaired by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir said the situation must not be allowed to continue as NSSF manages billions in taxpayers’ pensions.

Lawmakers Paul Katana (Kaloleni), Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay), Abdisalan Ibrahim (Wajir, vice-chair), and Babu Owino (Embakasi East) raised the matter on Monday.

There is a lacuna we need to handle as we cannot let the massive investments in the Fund be run by people in an acting capacity. For accountability purposes, the positions should be filled substantively.
Abdisalan Ibrahim, PIC vice-char

It emerged in the session that the NSSF board has not been sending notices to the Inspectorate of State Corporations for four years.

An Inspectorate officer told MPs they would have advised the NSSF on the way forward had it been given notice of its committee and board meetings.

“The board has powers to advertise the positions and fill them. We are not privy to when they hold meetings, hence, cannot advise them on the way forward,” the official said.

But Katana said a situation in which 95 per cent of top management positions is held in an acting capacity is not acceptable.

“The acting positions cannot guarantee us that we have safeguarded public resources at NSSF. The Fund holds a lot of meaning for this country for such a situation to persist,” Wanga said.

“There is a lacuna that we need to handle as we cannot let the massive investments in the Fund be run by people in an acting capacity. For accountability purposes, the positions should be filled substantively,” Ibrahim, who chaired the session, said.

NSSF Chief Executive Officer Antony Omerika, in his defence, said filling vacant positions is within the purview of the board.

He said the Fund has been awaiting the Inspectorate's audit report for which the vacant posts was among the issues they raised with the inspectors.

“One of the key highlights was how we conduct our meetings, the organisation structure, and the vacant positions. They never came back to us on how to deal with the report,” the CEO said.

He added that the subject has been on the agenda for many board meetings and various parliamentary committees.

“This matter has been raised over the past three years. We raised the issue in the last audit cycle and trustees were called here and we were told the posts would be filled," Omerika said.

The focus now shifts to the board chaired by former Defence chief Julius Karangi, which is mandated to fill the senior management posts.

(Edited by V. Graham)