By Madiba Singhateh
The Managing Director of the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC), Saloum Malang, has presented a detailed picture of the social security situation in The Gambia at the recently concluded International Social Protection Conference held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara Conference Centre in Bijilo.
In his presentation to national and international delegates, Malang outlined the key players involved in social security and protection in the Gambia, the various schemes, administering organisations, population groups legally covered, pensionable age, and benefit payments.
Focusing on the SSHFC, Mr. Malang revealed that as of September 30, 2023, the total membership for the National Provident Fund (NPF) stood at 157,084 employees. Of these, he said 4,950 employees were registered in 2023 alone. In the case of the Federated Pension Scheme, the total employee membership stood at 17,517 as of September 30, 2023, with 394 new employees added during the same period.
In terms of communication between SSHFC and its stakeholders, Mr. Malang disclosed that 50 seminars were held in various member institutions in 2022 to increase awareness, with regular meetings held with the Pensioners Committee to address their concerns. He said the mainstream media and the institution’s social media channels were utilized for advertising and optimized.
The Managing Director also highlighted that SSHFC is currently automating and digitizing social security operations to reduce process time and cost by developing a unique system called Social Security Management Information System (SSMIS). This system comprises various sub-systems, including one for member registration and records management, a customer relationship management system, a system for claim processing and benefit payments, a mortgage management system, and more. Once these systems are operational, members will be able to view their statements online via a dedicated mobile app and members’ portal, as well as access vital services from their mobile phones.
The MD’s presentation also touched upon the Corporation’s investments, subsidiaries, and the major awards and recognitions conferred upon it. SSHFC’s international recognition and the mechanisms put in place to overcome various challenges were also highlighted.
The delegates expressed appreciation for the comprehensive presentation delivered by the SSHFC Managing Director.
The culmination of Saloum Malang’s presentation not only provided an illuminating glimpse into The Gambia’s social security landscape but also underscored the SSHFC’s commitment to innovation, comprehensive coverage, and responsive engagement—a vital cornerstone in the nation’s social protection endeavors.
The MD also thanked the National Social Protection Secretariat (NSPS) for hosting such an important event on home soil.