NSSF loses 100,000 contributors due to Covid-19
By Our Reporter
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has lost over 100,000 contributors and closed six of its branches in three months when Uganda went into a Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.
NSSF Managing Director Mr Richard Byarugaba said the covid-19 impacted adversely on Ugandan workers and employers that there has been direct effects on salaries and remittances for social security. He said the corona virus outbreak in Uganda also came as a blessing to NSSF operations as it enabled the private sector pension fund to implement a vision they mooted four years ago that entails all staff to embark on remote working with modern technology as opposed to physically reporting to office for duties.
Mr Byarugaba said four years ago he told all his staff members to start building their capacity within the next five years so that they are able comply with new world order of delivering services using cyber space.
“ As a timely intervention the NSSF was the first government entity to offer 100 per cent of our services online,” he said.
But due to the measures imposed to curb the spread of the pandemic only 30 per cent of NSSF staff that deal directly with day – to - day customers, report to work at office while the rest work from home. However Mr Byarugaba said NSSF has registered increased staff productivity and the income derived which has been saved over the period will be used to improve staff remuneration.
The new developments come a time when workers through their umbrella National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU) and Central Organization of Free Trade Unions (COFTU), have been demanding for mid - term access of their savings. NOTU Chairman General Mr Usher Wilson Owere told the Workers Eye that Covid-19 has devastated Ugandan workers many of whom are old and if not assisted could end up destitute.
“Covid-19 has devastated Ugandan workers many of whom are old and if not assisted could end up destitute,” he said. But efforts by the Uganda Parliament to discuss the NSSF Amendment bill which was being supported by workers through NOTU and COFTU to effect a 20 per cent mid –term access, were halted following a Constitutional petition on the matter■