The Gender, Labour and Social Development Ministry, has up to one week to table proposed amendments to National Social Security Fund Act, 1985.
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah made the ruling on Wednesday after the Youth and Children Affairs State Minister; Florence Nakiwala tabled three documents as proof that government is the process of tabling the National Social Security Fund Amendment Bill.
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This was in response to a directive by Oulanyah to the Minister to show proof that government has a draft for the proposed amendments. Oulanyah issued the directive when the minister opposed a motion by Workers MP, Dr. Sam Lyomoki seeking leave of parliament to table the National Social Security (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
The Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana confirmed that a draft bill was before the First Parliamentary Counsel for drafting and processing for presentation to parliament. Dr. Lyomoki told parliament on Tuesday that he had decided to table the proposed amendments since government was dragging its feet on the matter.
Following Nakiwala's presentation to parliament on Wednesday, Oulanyah gave the minister a week to table the draft bill for the first reading or else he will allow discussion of Dr. Lyomoki's motion.
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Dr. Lyomoki expressed concern that the government draft might differ with his on matters of principal. Oulanyah reassured him that he is cognizant of his fears.
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In his motion to parliament, Lyomoki argues that much as NSSF has for the past 10 years performed well and even increased the number of savers, there are gaps that must be filled to improve its performance.
He cites the fact that the Minister of Finance appoints the board, the managing Director and Deputy Director, which makes government wield too much power over the fund.
He also argues that the composition of the NSSF board needs to be changed to ensure that workers and employers have permanent slots not the current situation where the minister may or may not appoint such representatives on the board.
Lyomoki also says that the NSSF Act must be updated to reflect the challenges of unemployment through granting access to midterm benefits for members who currently stand at 2.5 million. He explained that his motion is prompted by the fact that government has failed to amend the NSSF Act since 2009.