By Mustapha Jallow
Memunatu Junisa Camara, Director of Human Resources (HR) for Ocean Bay/Sun Beach Hotel & Resort (OBSBHR), has on Wednesday won the position of representative for the National Provident Fund to the Board of Directors of Social Security and Housing Financial Corporation (SSHFC).
Camara succeeded her two opponents, Njundu Fatty, CEO/Managing Director of Supersonicz The Microfinance and Pa Kebba Nyangado, Manager of the Monitoring & Evaluation/Social Development Fund (SDF), who are also board members.
Her predecessor, Ms. Janet Davies (EU), the NPF representative’s term expired after serving 3 years. Janet didn’t show any interest in running another term. Camara is the second female to be elected as a representative after defeating two of her male contestants. 53 individuals represented their institutions and they were served with vote’s cards to cast their votes.
The voting results were declared as follows: Nyangado 8 votes, Fatty 20 votes and Camara 24 votes. The election committee announced Camara as the 2021 winner of the NPF board rep. The election exercise was held at the same hotel in Bakau on 9th June 2021.
Camara told reporters, immediately she was declared winner, that she hopes to continue where her predecessor stopped.
“I don’t want to over promise and undeliver, but I will definitely create a change for once,’’ she said.
According to Camara, the position is meant to serve the public rightly. She said dealing with over 300 to 400 employees is a huge forum for her as she promised to go deep to the grassroot level in a bid to come with recommendations and/or whatever needs to be done.
Ms. Janet Davies (EU), the out-going NPR rep, said NP-Fund was a struggling fund in the previous years as a result of funding programs and activities. She explained that when executive orders and funds were being disposed from SSHFC, it brought challenges among members of the NPF.
Davies said the Fund was later affected because most of the hotels and businesses were closed down and as a result of that, contributions were not coming.
She raised a flag on “illegal practices” where some employers do deduct amount for NPF from the salary of their employees but they do not pay the contributions. She said those involved in these practices may not be many but it’s happening. Thus, she advised those involved to desist from these practices
“I can call it an illegal practice,’’ Davies tells members.
Davies urged members who are registered with the NPF to have their cards and SSHFC numbers, so that they will save themselves from troubles.
“As the saying goes, you put your money where you mouth is because you know where your contributions are going and you also need to ensure at the end of the day you do get your benefits,’ she said.
Mr. Abdoulie Tambedou, Managing Director of SSHFC, said as far as the National Provident Fund financial results are concerned, the financial statements have improved between the years 2016 to 2019 audited account.
“And 2020 draft financials are as follows: 2020 D116,674,000 surplus (draft), 2019 D83,860,000 surplus (audited), 2018 D16,499,00 deficit (audited), 2017 D22, 848,000 deficit (audited) and 2016 D1,616,095,00 deficit (audited),” he outlined.
According to him, the low literacy rate of the members is a continued challenge with some members not welcoming the use of mobile money or other third parties to pay benefits. He added that the relatively low salary level of the corporation compared to other sister SOEs is also a challenge which they hope to review through a proper study and once their finances can sustain same.