Parliament Pauses Debate on Lyomoki's NSSF Motion

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In short
The Deputy Speaker, Oulanyah delivered his ruling asking Nakiwala to provide proof that the Bill is being considered by the First Parliamentary Counsel.

Workers Member of Parliament, Dr. Sam Lyomoki has sought leave of parliament to table the National Social Security Fund Amendment Bill, 2019 by way of private member's Bill. The bill seeks to amend the NSSF Act, 1985. In his motion to parliament, Lyomoki argues that much as NSSF has for the past 10 years performed well and even increased the number of savers, there are gaps that must be filled to improve its performance. 

 Among the gaps are that the Minister of Finance appoints the board, the managing Director and Deputy Director, which makes government to wield too much power on the body.  He also argued that the composition of the NSSF board needs to be changed to ensure that workers and employers have permanent slots, not the current situation where the minister may or may not appoint such representatives on the board.

 
Lyomoki also says that the NSSF Act must be updated to reflect the challenges of unemployment through granting access to midterm benefits for members who currently stand at 2.5 million. He explained that his motion is prompted by the fact that government has failed to amend the NSSF Act since 2009. 

However, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah paused debate on Lyomoki's motion following information from three ministers that government is set to table the NSSF Amendment Bill in the next two weeks. The minister including Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the Housing State Minister, Florence Nakiwala, the Youth and Children Affairs Minister and Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana said that Lyomoki can wait for the government Bill to amend the NSSF Act. 

Nakiwala asked for two weeks for government to consider Lyomoki's proposals.

 

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However, the Kilak County MP, Gilbert Olanya questioned whether Nakiwala was not out of order to request for more time yet government had done the same in the past and never returned to the House with the Bill.
 

The Deputy Speaker, Oulanyah delivered his ruling asking Nakiwala to provide proof that the Bill is being considered by the First Parliamentary Counsel. 

 
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The Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana moved to support Nakiwala's claim that there is a draft Bill. 
 
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However, Lyomoki pointed out his concerns, saying that government could employ delaying tactics and derail his Bill, which seeks to reform the NSSF Act. The Erute County South MP, Jonathan Odur also asked whether the NSSF Amendment bill tabled in 2009 was tabled or shelved or even withdrawn. 

He also asked whether it was necessary for Lyomoki to introduce the same bill.  In response, Lyomoki argued that while the Retirement Benefits Sector Liberalization Bill 2011 (which government withdrew last year from parliament) seeks to repeal the NSSF Act, workers want reforms in NSSF. 

He added that the government has failed to amend the NSSF Act in the last ten years inspite of recommendations of Parliament following the Temangalo scandal in 2009.  Oulanyah reassured Lyomoki that his motion will be processed in the event that Nakiwala and Rukutana fail to present the government Bill by 2pm Wednesday.


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Tagged with: nssf act amendment