By Aloysious Kasoma
National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has intensified efforts to cash in on 11 million workers in the informal sector. Speaking at the sidelines of the East and Central Africa Social Security Association (ECASSA) conference held at Serena Hotel in Kampala on Thursday, Richard Byarugaba, the Managing Director at NSSF said the Fund can’t grow without the informal sector saving given the fact that only 10% of the 4 million workers in the formal sector is saving.
“Over 11 million people are working in the informal sector and NSSF has launched a voluntary product for organizations employing at least five people,” he said.
Byarugaba, who is the new Chairman of ECASSA explained that the region needs to come up with a comprehensive solution to attract the informal sector into social security saving.
According to International Labour Organisation (ILO), at least 90% of workers in Uganda do not have a permanent contract.
NSSF which was founded in 1985 has a total asset worth Sh6.6 Trillion as of 2016, with 1.5 million workers in the formal sector saving.
One of the main reasons for low pension coverage mainly in the developing countries is the poor labour structure.
The latest World Employment and Social Work report published by ILO shows that 33.2% of Kenya’s working population is actively contributing to a pension scheme, making it the country with the highest number in the region.
In Burundi, only 5.6% of the working population actively saves, Rwanda (4.5%), Tanzania (3.6%) and Uganda (2.6%).
The low figures reveal the region’s weak economies are unable to create enough jobs for its young population and the poor labour market structures incapable of providing adequate social protection for workers.
Uganda’s low figure can partly be explained by the fact that unlike other EA countries, it features prominently in the list of states with the highest number of workers without a permanent contract.