Split, puzzle of scores in hiring new NSSF boss


National Social Security Fund building. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Details of scores with huge variances and suspended interviews have lifted the lid on a major split among the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) board members that preceded the hiring of the new managing trustee in a recruitment insiders claim had external interference.

The board settled on David Koros – who will take charge of a more financially empowered fund – after he emerged as the best in the interviews conducted on Wednesday last week and will now take charge of the pensions entity that has an investment portfolio of over Sh284.98 billion.

Labour Principal Secretary Geoffrey Kaituko said Mr Koros— the outgoing Local Authorities Provident Fund (Lapfund) chief officer— is expected to report to his new workstation by June 1, this Thursday.

“He has received his appointment letter and is expected to report before or on June 1,” said the PS.

The Business Daily has learnt that a major split that saw interviews initially scheduled for last week aborted for lack of quorum preceded the appointment.

Sources indicate that the board was split over alleged external interference. Candidates say they turned up for the interviews but the exercise could not proceed after two members of the board failed to show up.

The government started implementing the NSSF Act 2013, which is expected to unlock an extra Sh18 billion in the 2023/24 financial year following enhanced contributions.

The NSSF is also one of the top cash-rich institutions that usually have billions of shillings in surplus funds that the government is eyeing.

As of June 2021, the Central Bank of Kenya held loose cash amounting to Sh36.9 billion, NSSF was second with Sh35 billion, and Kenya Pipeline Company had Sh7.6 billion while the Communications Authority of Kenya was sitting on Sh3.36 billion.

A member of the board explained that two representatives of the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) were absent on the initial date for the interviews due to sickness and delays in gazettement.

Read: NSSF board picks Koros as the next managing trustee

“It is true the interviews were first scheduled for last week but we did not have a quorum to proceed. FKE representatives were absent. One of the FKE representatives had not been gazetted at the time of the interview while the other was unwell during the period,” said the source.

Previously, the board was forced to re-advertise the job. Insiders claimed this was done to allow certain individuals to apply.

A board member said it was re-done since the initial one was non-responsive despite attracting 100 applicants.

But even when the board met on Wednesday to conduct the interviews, the split on the best candidate for the job was apparent going by the scores each of the panellists awarded.

Three panellists gave Mr Koros low marks, contrasting the high scores he got from the other six members of the board.

In a score sheet seen by the Business Daily, Mr Koros attained an average score of 71.10 percent. However, one of the panellists gave him 26 percent, being the lowest by any of the nine candidates interviewed. Two other panellists awarded him 30 percent and 58 percent.


A score sheet showing that Mr Koros attained an average score of 71.10 percent. FILE PHOTO | POOL

The remaining six board members gave him 95, 93, 89, 88, 88, and 73.

Another candidate, Eddy Malit, emerged second by scoring an average of 70.60.

The two panellists, who scored Mr Koros at 26 and 30 awarded Mr Malit 90 and 89 percent, respectively, demonstrating conflicting interests and a split in the team.

Others interviewed were Jonah Aiyabei who scored 69.44, Moses Ndiema Cheseto (68.90), Nicodemus Odongo (65.11), Tom Odongo (64.68), Richard Nyakundi Rori (64.30), Rukwaro Mathenge (60.0) and Dennis Osiya (53.70).

PS Kaituko said it is normal for panellists in such a set-up to score candidates differently.

“You see, there can only be one CEO at a time and there will always be some competing interests. So, it is normal but it is always good to give people legitimate marks,” said Mr Kaituko.

Mr Koros will take over from David Mwangangi, who has been holding the position in an acting capacity since last November following the exit of Antony Omerikwa.

Read: NSSF to kick off hiring of new boss in a week

Mr Omerikwa initially acted in the role for four years before he was confirmed in 2019 and served a full term of three years.

The NSSF board is made up of the Chairperson appointed by the Labour Cabinet Secretary, the Labour Principal Secretary, two persons nominated by the Central Organisation of Trade Unions, two representatives nominated by FKE and three people appointed by the Cabinet Secretary.

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