“Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, to improve service delivery and enhance process efficiency, NASSIT is replacing its current integrated Biometrics Registration System (BRS) referred to as NAPOS II, with a fully functional Web-Based Integrated Biometric Pension Administration System.”
President Julius Maada Bio, at the State Opening of the 3rd session of the 5th Parliament
In fulfilment of this declaration, Director General of the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT)Mohamed Fuaad Daboh on Tuesday 26th January 2021 sealed the award of two contracts to two consultancy firms, Infocareer & Telis Consortium and Pricewaterhouse Cooper (PwC). This auspicious occasion which brought together Trustees, the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Management and Staff of NASSIT, Consultants and the Press, was held in the NASSIT Boardroom in Freetown.
Infocareer & Telis Consortium, which is an ICT Project Management and Consulting firm will be responsible for Enterprise Resource Planning, Data cleaning, and the Web-based Operating Pension System, while Pricewaterhouse Cooper, an Investment and Financial Analyst firm, will be responsible to advise and recommend the way forward for the turning around of the Trust’s investment portfolios.
Speaking at the occasion, the Mohamed Fuaad Daboh described NASSIT as a Statutory Public Trust given the responsibility to administer Sierra Leone’s national pension Scheme. “The Scheme”, according to Mr. Daboh, “provides retirement and other benefits to meet the contingency needs of workers and their dependants”.
“In order to effectively discharge these responsibilities”, the Director General added, “the Trust depends largely on a reliable and stable information system that will collect, process and save the clients’ data”. He went on to say that the Trust depends on the strength and speed of the processing system in order to have a seamless process. Mohamed Fuaad Daboh lamented over the years, the Trust encountered major challenges with its information operating system, coupled with the fact that it had spanned over ten years and had become obsolete in the light of the rapid, dynamic and expansive changes of the ICT world. This, according to the Director General, underpinned the desire for a new operating system.
This need, Mr. Daboh explained, was first generated by his predecessor but that the procurement process was halted by the previous Government. However, after the entire process was reviewed by his Management, the present Government was approached with justification, and being committed to seeing that the country progresses, His Excellency Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio lifted the ban.
On the review of the investment portfolio, the Director General said that his administration inherited serious challenges in the Trust’s investments, ranging from encroachment on the lands, unoccupied affordable houses, problems with subsidiary companies and the several questions on their viability.
“You will recall that NASSIT and most of our portfolio companies were part of the 2018 Technical Audit Report. One of the recommendations of that Technical Audit was for NASSIT to employ the services of an Investment Consultancy Firm to conduct a technical appraisal of all NASSIT investments, in order to provide a viable future. As a management, we have to adhere to State instructions”, he explained.
Speaking on the award process, Mr. Daboh informed the public that these two consulting firms were selected in public tenders that went through due processes in relation to overhauling both IT system and the Investment portfolios of the Scheme.
Concluding, the Director General assured the Scheme members and the general public that the two projects were a turning point in the fortunes of the scheme. The Information Technology System not will only foster speedy processes and procedures but will also bring the Scheme services closer to its members and enhance prompt and correct processing and payment of benefits. On the other hand, the review of the investment portfolios will not only give management a true picture of the Trust investment but also act as a platform for prudent and socially targeted investments. He thanked His Excellency, the President, Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, the Board of Trustees and other partners for their support and cooperation during the period and implored all stakeholders including management and staff to work with the Consultants while pledging NASSIT’s commitment towards both ventures.
On his part, the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Alpha OsmanTimbo, admonished the consultants of the two firms to utilise all their professional skills to advise the Trust on the way forward since NASSIT is a public Trust and the success of the scheme is largely linked to both the Information System (ICT) and the investment aspects. He congratulated the successful firms and noted that he looked forward to them doing a very professional job within the stipulated time frame. He said as a Government, they were concerned about the status of NASSIT they inherited, but today they were pleased that a manifesto of His Excellency Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio was coming to fruition at NASSIT. He assured the audience of Government’s commitment to transforming the Trust for the good of all Sierra Leoneans.
On his part, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Professor Joseph Lawrence Kamara, explained the background to the signing of the contracts, saying that the Board inherited a large number of investment issues, of which the position of the Board had not been clear as to which one to continue or discontinue.
As such, Management was advised to engage an Investment Analyst to investigate and analyse the current investment portfolio of the Trust to assist the Board and Management in making sound decisions.
On the ICT System, the Board Chairman intimated that the Trust’s current infrastructure had become very obsolete and did not match with modern trend. He said he was encouraged by the steadfast decision of Management to address the inherited crisis.
He described the signing ceremony as an important occasion designed to replace the obsolete system with the new system, so as to take care of the problems relating to social security contributions.
The event was climaxed by the signing of the contracts between NASSIT and the two Service Providers.