July 6—National Social Security Fund (NSSF) members wishing to save their money in foreign currency can now do so following the amendment of NSSF Act to cater for payments/withdrawals in United States dollars effective financial year 2017/18.
“We have amended the NSSF law to allow members who earn in dollars and wish to save their money in dollars to do so. Even Ugandans who earn shillings, but wish to save in dollars can do by changing their money into dollars before saving it,” Matia Kasaija, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development said this week.
He said the move by NSSF is intended to protect customers against any instability in the foreign exchange market which causes the shilling to depreciate.
Kasaija said, “This is mainly aimed at making sure that the interest paid on the members’ savings is higher than the inflation rate. You all understand how our shilling is performing at the moment. To protect their money in the future, our foreign members asked us to allow them save in dollars and we could not object because we want the best for them.”
However there were mixed reactions to Kasaija’s announcement with some officials saying the move will not only demean the Uganda shilling but undermine efforts to help stabilize the economy.
The Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda said there were every few Ugandans who earn money in dollars and that the policy of saving in dollars should have dealt with as a managerial matter instead of enacting the laws over it.
Kirunda Kivejinja, the Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Community said that NSSF was getting their priorities wrong. He said NSSF should be concentrating on making more investments and growing the fund so that the beneficiaries can have enough money once they retire instead of concentrating on pleasing foreigners.
“The main aim of NSSF is mainly to save and grow money for workers so that when it is time to retire and they are unable to work, then they can have their money with interest and depend o it. Right now, NSSF should be making investments that can help grow the fund so that the all members can benefit,” Kivejinja said.