, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 16 – The government now says it will restructure NHIF and NSSF to enhance efficiency and delivery of services.
Deputy President William Ruto speaking on Tuesday said the management structures of National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) must be reformed to enhance efficiency in collection of contributions.
He noted that there were need to increase contribution by members to make funds viable.
The deputy president spoke when he met the National Executive Committee members of the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) led by the Secretary General Francis Atwoli.
“The concept of universal health care is at the heart of the Jubilee manifesto and for that reason we intend to overhaul the system to make it accountable,” he said.
He said the government proposes to scale up NHIF remittance by both employees and employers and also increase the current NSSF contribution as well transform the fund from a provident to a pension scheme.
“There must be a prudent management and investment of workers contribution to the NSSF because it is a base scheme which we feel every citizen must contribute to reap the benefit,” the deputy president stated.
He also asked teachers who are on strike to take the government’s offer arguing that their demand for a pay hike was untenable.
He told the teachers to reconsider their stand and resume duty, saying the government’s wage bill is already stretched to the limit.
“We are still open to dialogue but the salary demands may not be sustainable because the increment we offered the teachers has pushed the wage bill,” he said.
“We still hope to resolve the issue amicably.”
During the meeting, COTU expressed concern over the reluctance by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) to engage the government in dialogue.
“Teachers must embrace the spirit of give and take… that is the only way to end the stalemate,” Atwoli said.
Earlier, Ruto hosted the Ambassador of the Republic of Congo Jean Pierre Ossey where the two held talks on possible avenues of cementing bilateral ties between the two nations.
Ossey made proposals for the opening of a Kenyan Embassy in Brazzaville as the government embarks on intra-African trade and co-operation.
Prospects of training the Congolese professionals in local institutions in various disciplines such as in the fields of hospitality industry, agricultural and health were also explored.
He also requested the Kenya Government to assist in training of warders on ways of dealing with the poaching menace.