The President Should Step Up On SSHFC Saga

By Seedy S. Fofanah

The Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) saga has been going on for almost seven months now and nothing has been done about it by the Gambia government. The things are becoming boredom and worrisome on the poor Gambian pensioners and the people that worked at the SSHFC.

The Managing Director of the SSHFC, Mr. Mohammed Lamin Manjang has been on the job for almost 18 months and he was able to turn the SSHFC into a first class investment institution and uplift the image of the institution to a more reputable corporation of which, all Gambian can now be proud of. Many Gambians were either introduced to SSHFC or became aware of its financial calamity through the sessions of the Commission of Inquiry into the financial dealings of former President Yahya Jammeh.

Mr. Jammeh used to siphon money from SSHFC account for his personal uses. Modou Camara and his group of disgrungled staffers want to tell me they were not aware of these things going in at SSFHC. President Barrow appointed Mr. Mohammed Lamin Manjang to reform the already rotten system at the SSHFC. Since his appointment, Mr. Manjang has been working very hard to achieve his terms of reference.

Mr. Manjang is the only Managing Director that was able to make great achievement since the inception of SSHFC by an Act of the Parliament in 1981. He was able to turn a D1.6 million loss in 2016 into D83.5 million profit – an achievement borne out of an austerity measure that aims to safeguard what belongs to poor pensioners. Can anyone tell me any former managing directors of SSHFC who has outperform Mr. Manjang in terms of profitability. The man was able to turn the SSHFC into institution that had not only been the pride of pensioners but the one that every Gambian is interested in.

There are lots of damages former managing directors caused to the SSHFC during the Jammeh era. These were evident from the cost management measures implemented by Mr. Manjang since he took office to date, which has yielded dividends. These measures brought down the total operation and other unnecessary cost by D88 million in 2017, a figure that is expected to improve significantly at the end of 2018. If Modou Camara and his enablers are boasting of Secretary General Habibu Drammeh’s supports to clandestinely misuse pensioners’ monies, let them be aware that New Gambia unfortunately provides no room for such acts.

However, interestingly SSHFC is 100% owned by the poor Gambian pensioners and those who were working in either government or private sectors all contributed to the SSHFC contribute to the National Provident Fund and the Federated Pensions Funds as savings for them when they retire. Upon retirement, the SSHFC will pay pensioners monthly sum of token that they were savings into their National Provident and Federated Pensions Funds.

Mr. Manjang has promised that the Corporation under his leadership will never act on executive directives to disburse any funds without appropriate means and procedures, as it was the case during the former regime. So, Mr. Manjang has come to protect the mismanagement of the pensioners’ monies.

Here is a man who has lived by his words as evident by his uncompromising stance to budge on his promise to protect every butut of Gambians pensioners’ hard-earned money. As long as Manjang is the Managing Director of SSHFC, pensioners can go to bed with peace of mind. Under his stewardship, Gambian pensioners monies will be put into better investment opportunities rather than being mismanaged. This is what people like Modou Camara don’t want to see because Manjang has blocked all their avenue and sources of getting unearned monies from SSHFC.

So, people like Modou Camara and SSHFC Finance Director were not happy with Mr. Manjang’s style of leadership and management. They became defiant rebels who marched to the State House demanding the resignation of Mr. Manjang. This group of disgruntled staff led by one Mr. Modou Camara had been agitating for change of Mr. Manjang because of reasons that could only be characterized as flimsy excuses. These disgruntled staffers want to maintain the old system that benefits them at the expenses of poor Gambian Pensioners monies with 130,000 (one hundred and thirty thousand).

The Government of Adama Barrow should not let these disgruntled staffers of SSHFC to demonstrate by even going to the extent of locking the main gate of SSHFC compound. The government must empower and give full support to Mr. Managing Director, management, Board and staff in executing their mandate.


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