Appoint a substantive NSSF chief executive

Workers from Pelican Signs Company erect new signboard on the NSSF building during its rebranding exercise on September 12, 2012. Photo/SALATON NJAU

The government should move with speed to appoint a substantive managing trustee of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) following the exit of Anthony Omerikwa on Monday.

David Mwangangi was picked to lead the organisation in acting, but this should be a temporary situation.

The NSSF plays a major role in the economy but has been plagued by many issues, including a lack of accountability and allegations of corruption.

Appointing a substantive managing trustee is part of the checklist of ensuring there is a motivated and accountable leadership in place to run the fund with the interests of retirees at the top of the agenda.

Leadership gaps do not bode well for corporate governance in any institution, let alone a fund-collecting and investing hundreds of billions of shillings.

The succession delay risks replaying the circumstances of Dr Omerikwa’s time with the organisation.

The former managing trustee initially held the position for four years until November 22, 2019 when he was confirmed to the post.

Four years is a long time for one to serve in the chief executive role in acting capacity and is unheard of in the private sector. There is a lot to do to resolve legacy issues at the NSSF and an acting managing trustee is unlikely to put in his or her best effort in running the complex organisation.

The NSSF, for instance, has disputes with many parties that have appropriated some of its assets, including properties. A solid top management team is even more critical given the ambitions the current administration has for the fund.

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