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Parliament queries MDAs for non-payment of NASSIT

Parliament queries MDAs for non-payment of NASSIT

Freetown, June (SLENA) – The Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Finance has queried several government ministries, departments and agencies for failing to submit deductions from employees’ salaries for onward payment to NASSIST.

The MDAs that appeared before the committee last week included NaCSA, National Authorizing Office (NAO), National Commission for Democracy (NCD), SLARI, Law Reform Commission, Nation Electoral Commission (NEC), Office of National Security (ONS) and HIV AID Secretariat, among others.

Addressing MDAs during the hearing, the Deputy Chairman of the Finance Committee, Hon. Hassan Sheriff said as a committee they are doing their oversight functions in accordance with the constitution of Sierra Leone and that they as committee do not witch hunt any individual institution.

He informed MDAs that NASSIT has formally logged complaint against them for failing to submit NASSIST payment on behalf of their employees.

First to face the committee was NaSCA (National Commission for Social Action) who NASSIST accused of owing the Trust the sum of one billion as debt, dating back to 2008.

Responding, the Commissioner of NaCSA , Saidu Conton told the committee that the delay in paying employees’ NASSIT benefit was largely due to the strings World Bank and ADB attach to donor funding which he said had resulted in the non-payment of their workers’ NASSIT.

The Commissioner however pointed out that since 2011, NaCSA created a special account for payment of staff salaries and benefits and that since that date they have been complying with NASSIST.

After hearing the commission, the committee ordered it to go back and return with proper documented evidence.

The NCD, according to the house committee, owes NASSIT three million leones as monies accruing from the workers’ NASSIT fund, an accusation NCD Executive Secretary, Mr. Abu Bakarr Yillah and his team failed to defend. The committee therefore asked them to go and back come prepared for the next hearing.

The Sierra Leone Library Board was also accused of not paying NASSSIT for its workers, totaling Le32 million. But the Chief Librarian, Mr. Sallieu Turay denied the accusation, arguing that all what was alleged had been paid to NASSIT.

While responding to the query, other MDAs blamed the Account General’s office for failing to account for NASSIST dues. On this note the committee agreed to summon the Accountant General to respond to the accusations leveled against his office by the MDAs.

Hearing continues.


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