NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 10 – The Secretary General of the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Francis Atwoli has urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to assent to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Bill, 2013.
Atwoli argued that its merits trump the stand taken by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) on Monday that they were not consulted in its formulation and were therefore opposed to it.
“Teachers are not contributing to NSSF or NHIF so they should keep mum. Pili pili usio ila yakuwashIa nini? (why does pepper you’ve not eaten bother you so)?” he posed.
It is however worth noting that should the NSSF Bill, 2013 become law, contribution to the fund would be mandatory except in cases where employees are under a superior pension scheme.
A provision Atwoli welcomed, as he did the requirement therein, that employers match the six percent basic salary contribution of their employees’ cent for cent.
“It was not easy to get employers to match the current Sh200 contribution of their employees. They had refused. And it wasn’t until I said workers are prepared to give six percent that they agreed to the increment,” he testified.
Addressing the press on Tuesday, Atwoli also sought to assuage the fears expressed by former Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi over the management of the fund.
“The history of NSSF is not good and it’s not only the past. Every successive government apart from the Kibaki government interfered with NSSF but because I’m on that board and I know my money is secure, I pay Sh20,000.”
Mudavadi had on Monday urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to subject the bill to expert analysis to ensure it contains no avenues for corruption.
“The way it is structured, it could easily be a government running a pyramid scheme. I hope we are not increasing contributions to plug holes in the current budget. Let’s not allow for situations where pensioners outnumber ability to service them because money is tied up in dud investments like before,” he cautioned.
On receiving the bill, President Uhuru Kenyatta has 14 days within which to take all the sides of the argument surrounding the NSSF Bill, 2013 into consideration before either assenting to it or sending it back to Parliament.