The Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Policy, Parliament, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled), Jenista Mhagama, has issued a seven-day ultimatum to all government institutions, ministries, individuals and private companies to pay the outstanding debts they owe the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
In the same vein, the minister directed the board of trustee in other pension funds to make sure that those who are yet to pay the debts do so immediately so that the pension funds can be able to provide services to retirees.
Ms Mhagama, who was speaking on Sunday evening after touring the NSSF’s Kigamboni housing project, directed the Permanent Secretary in her Ministry, Mr Erick Shitindi, that within one month, the management of other pension funds should issue a report on the steps taken against defiance on the payment of debts. “I understand that there are contracts that were signed by both parties prior to taking of loans.
We should use the same to make sure that all the money is collected accordingly,’’ said the minister. She tasked the NSSF Chairman of the Board of Trustees Prof Samuel Wangwe to make sure that a proper report on the progress in collection of debts is submitted before her.
“On behalf of the government, I want to see all people who owe money regardless of their titles including political bigwigs paying their debts. “This should include private companies, investors and government institutions,” she added.
Earlier on, NSSF Director General Professor Godius Kahyarara said although NSSF had made achievements in implementing various projects, many of its tenants were yet to clear their debts.
Even individuals, government and private institutions that had taken loans, including those who had bought houses were yet to settle their dues.
According to Prof Kahyarara, there were huge debts that were awaiting collection from tenants amounting to 20bn/- and a further 1.2 million US dollars. Another 86bn/- which is part of the statutory contributions and penalties from employers was yet to be cleared, according to him.
Other debts include 42m/- and US dollars 35.9 million respectively that were provided as loans to various private sectors. Another 38bn/- loan was provided through SACCOS and it is yet to be recovered.
“However, we have started taking appropriate measures as per the requirement of the law so that all the money can be recovered,” said Prof Kahyarara. According to the NSSF boss, following the loans, the fund had issued eviction notices to loan defaulters but some of them went to court to seek injunction. The court was expected to issue a ruling yesterday (Monday).
The chairman of the board of trustees underscored the need for collection of all the debts, insisting that the few people who were reluctant to pay the loans should not cause problems to the majority.
“I believe that if those who purchased the houses under loan agreements should pay accordingly. We are likely to have more investments that will help more people,’’ said Prof Wangwe.
At the Kigamboni housing project, the minister expressed her satisfaction after her tour. The project began in 2014 and it is expected that by the end of 2016, a total of 439 houses will be complete.
The houses will be sold to people at an affordable price.
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