NSSF Board kicked out of House committee for failing to raise quorum

A parliamentary committee kicked out members of the board of trustees of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) for failing to raise a quorum to respond to questions on how the fund spent its billions of shillings.

The Public Investment Committee (PIC) members were annoyed by NSSF’s failure to marshal its board members to the crucial meeting on Tuesday, with only three of the 10 members attending.

The chairman of the board of trustees, General (Rtd) Julius Karangi, and two of his colleagues were given marching orders by the committee chairman, Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir, after they failed to meet the two-thirds majority requirement for them to constitute a quorum.

General Karangi was accompanied by former MP Joseph Lekuton, a representative from the Treasury, Prof Dulacho Galgalo, and NSSF Managing Director Anthony Omerikwa, an ex-officio member of the board, but they could not be admitted as they lacked the numbers required by law.

The MPs complained about the snub by the other board members, saying it was a reflection of the casualness with which the fund is run. Among the issues PIC wants to establish is why the board has never hired substantive top managers at NSSF. Almost all top positions are held in an acting capacity.

“This explains why the top management of NSSF, including the MD, are on acting capacity even after Parliament directed that the board hires substantive holders of all these top positions. The fact that you cannot raise a quorum when we are discussing matters as important as this only shows how this board operates,” said Mr Nassir.

He revealed that some of the questions that the board members were expected to respond to were around questionable investments. He claimed some board members were accused of colluding with contractors to defraud the fund.

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Karangi said he did not know why other board members had failed to attend the meeting, yet they had all received an invitation. He said he only had the apologies of Prof Marion Mutugi, and was aware that Central Organisation of Trade Unions General Secretary Francis Atwoli was in Nigeria on official duty.

He, however, said he was prepared to respond to the queries raised by the MPs. But the legislators declined to listen to him, insisting that he had to be joined by at least two-thirds of the board members.

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