'New Nssa board must balance investment'

HARARE - The newly-appointed National Social Security Authority (Nssa) board must balance the organisation’s investment portfolio by including more infrastructure projects and employment creation opportunities while minimising exposure on capital markets, a top government official has said.

Prisca Mupfumira, Labour minister, on Friday told the new board members that Nssa’s investment policy has to be skewed in favour of the ZimAsset economic blueprint as opposed to fully concentrating on volatile money market investments.

“There is need to have an investment mix which takes into account the welfare of pensioners. It is necessary for the Nssa investment policy to address issues relating to infrastructure development, agricultural production, processing and marketing, SMEs and housing especially low income earners,” she said.

This comes as the pensions administrator, which has over $1,1 billion assets under its watch, has over recent years come under fire from hard-hit pensioners whose monthly pay-outs are way below the poverty datum line despite investments undertaken by the organisation in failed banks and counters listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).

Nssa has interests in 53 of the 59 companies listed on the local bourse, holding at least 10 percent shareholding in 12 listed counters.

The new Nssa board — chaired by Robin Vela — is expected to spearhead the organisation’s housing programme earmarked to address the shortage of accommodation being experienced by civil servants in the rural areas.

This would be done by providing cheap basic high density housing schemes for those who were lowly paid, who formed the bulk of the members of Nssa’s pension scheme

Vela, who takes over from previous chairman Ngoni Masoka, is deputised by Prosecutor General Johanes Tomana’s wife Daphne.

Other board members include former AfrAsia Bank managing director, Hashmon Matemera, bankers Association chief executive Sijabuliso Biyam, Nester Mukwewa, Eria Phiri Jemima Mateko, Richard Gundani and Memory Mukondomi.

Mupfumira said the board appointments are coming when Nssa has since August 2013 been running without a board as the tenure of the previous board has expired.

“Your appointment carries with it tremendous responsibilities since Nssa, by taking contributions from members on one end, meaning it is implicitly stating on the other that there will be pension or other legislated benefits accruing to the contributors when these fall due,” she said.

She implored the new board members to take a keen interest in those companies and institutions in which Nssa has a shareholding in.

“The non-executive directors who represent Nssa interests in those companies and institutions must participate effectively and provide feedback to the board as required,” Mupfumira said.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.