President Yoweri Museveni has announced he will decide on the workers mid-term acess to their savings in the coming two weeks after National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and workers clashed over information and change in wording.
The president came to his decision during a long meeting held at State House on Wednesday, that was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Finance led by the Minister Matia Kasaijja, the Managing Director of NSSF Richard Byarugaba members of National Organisation of Trade Unions – Uganda (NOTU) and Central Organisation Of Free Trade Unions -Uganda (COFTU).
In the meeting, workers’ representatives including Peter Werikhe, Usher Owere, Charles Bakabulindi and COFTU representative Dr. Sam Lyomoki said while they had agreed with the NSSF that only workers who are 45 years and have saved for ten years (45years and 10 years savings) be allowed mid-term access of 20 percent of their savings, they were shocked to learn that the wording had changed to (45 years or 10 years savings).
NSSF MD Byarugaba had said the total fund now stands at Shs 15 trillion and that each worker saves for between 25 – 30 years and earns 150million shillings.
He further said that if they access their savings now, they lose up to 30 million shillings in 20 years. He also said the fund would lose money because it would offer securities at a discount in a fire-sale.
On Byarugaba’s submission, Museveni suggested there was need for NSSF to explain to the workers that when they take 5 million today, they lose 30 million in 20 years. He asked for explanation on what happens to the fund.
Mr. Werikhe who is also the MP for Bubulo West and Secretary General of NOTU said they had agreed to a 20percent access of their 10million savings (Shs 2million).
“When we talked about mid-term, we met with all the stakeholders including NSSF. Workers who have reached 45years and have contributed for ten years are 100,000 that is about 800bn. Parliament instead said 45 or 10. At 45, many people have challenges,” Werikhe said.
Following conflicting information and change in wording regarding the National Social Security (Amendment), Museveni said both parties needed two weeks to conclusively solve the matter.
“I want to be clear with the figures. I am going to do my own research. Let us meet on August 4th,” the President said.
The President further said he wants to do more research on the figures after the workers representative said Shs 800bn was needed for the Mid-term access while NSSF’s Byarugaba said they may need up to Shs 3trillion shillings.
He said he would study the figures before making a decision in two weeks.