By Azania Post Reporter, Arusha
Tanzanian government has allayed fears that the exercise to merge five pension funds in the country would be carried more carefully to avoid confusion from members.
This was said today in Arusha by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s office ( Policy Parliamentary affairs, labour, employment and disabled persons) Jenista Mhagama , when officiating at the 7th National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Stakeholders Meeting .
Speaking on behalf of Prime Minister Kasim Majaliwa, Minister Mhagama said there is fear by some social security members regarding the merge.
“I would like to assure you that this job will be carried more professionally to avoid any challenge and members would be paid their benefits without any problem, she said.
However she did not reveal names of the Pension Funds to be merged but said that once completed the sector would see a lot of improvement.
According to the Social Security Regulatory Authority (SSRA), currently the country has seven social security funds--National Social Security Fund (NSSF), PPF Pension Fund, Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF), Local Authorities Pension Fund (LAPF), Workers Compensation Fund (WCF) , Government Employees Provident Fund (GEPF) and National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), which offer similar benefits.
She also said the government has started to review social security policy of the year 2003 in order to make sure that more people are accommodated in the sector.
The current policy is too old, we want to make some amendments that would enable to see various changes in the social security industry, she noted.
Minister Mhagama commended the NSSF for its efforts to increase number of members and invest in various areas particularly in industries.
On his part, the NSSF Director General Prof Godius Kahyarara said the fund would continue to invest in bankable investments such as sugar factory at Mkulazi .
He said construction of the factory in Mkulazi areas, the investment will also involve the construction of another sugar factory at Mbiligili Prison in Morogoro the project is expected to commence next month and produce more than 250,000 tons of sugar per year, while processing not less than 2,500,000 tons of canes.
He said their participation in current mission of fifth phase government of industrialization focuses on areas that provide market to agricultural sector, produce labour intensive employment.
He noted that already the board of trustee of NSSF has approved funds to purchase machinery and equipment for 60 tons of maize and 20 tons of sorghum per day in Dodoma. According to him the funds for Mwanza already approval has been granted for funding that will enable daily processing of 250 tons of maize and 96 tons of rice per day.
He assured the government, members and the schemes’ stakeholders that the projects are implemented with the highest level of integrity and transparency in order to bring positive results.
Prof Kahyarara said also said the Fund intends to increase number of contributing members to 2 million in the year 2020.
The three day meeting has attracted more than 800 participants from workers union, employers, private sector and international organizations.
The theme for this year event is ‘benefits of social protection in industrial development’
Industrialization is an initiative spearheaded by President John Magufuli aimed at turning Tanzania into middle income country reaching the year 2025