NATIONAL Social Security Fund (NSSF) is seeking to enrol at least 100,000 new members in its first year of operation under the new set up.
The country has enacted a new law where social security funds will be combined to form two major ones.
To walk the talk, NSSF’s Informal Sector Restructuring Team (ISRT) embarked on a fresh mobilising campaign looking to recruit members from the informal through their groups to join the fund.
Speaking during the awareness campaign organised to about 120 group leaders from the informal sector in Mwanza city over the weekend, the ISRT Chairperson Ms Mariam Muhaji said the Fund was ready for the new challenges.
“As you are all aware, the new Act has been enacted and NSSF is now working on the Social Security Policy that target to fully involve the informal sector and our presence here today as part of that crucial exercise,” she said.
Ms Muhaji is also NSSF Manager for Ruvuma Region. She said the team has decided to initiate mobilisation campaigns so that when the Act, regulation and Policy becomes fully operational, potential members will be ready in place, pay contributions and start enjoying various benefits.
For Mwanza Region Ms Muhaji said NSSF was looking ahead to recruit around 12,000 new members during the first year out of more than 100,000 potential members scattered in different economic undertakings who are constituting over 90 per cent of all working members in the region.
NSSF was poised to benefit from the merger of the Social Security Funds which has already been accented by President John Magufuli. The country was estimated to have a workforce of around 27 million but merely 11.6 per cent or 2.3million employed by formal sector.
On other hand, the remaining are either in informal sector or engaged in agriculture activities—mostly farmers. However, a substantial number of the country’s total workforce is not covered at all by NSSF. The registration data showed that the fund had over 1.2 million before the recent merger.
The ISRT had carried out a study in seven major cities and towns and Zanzibar that involved 1,227 and showed 75 per cent of them wishing to join NSSF and 80 per cent preferring social health insurance.
“The study revealed that around 50 per cent wanted loans for their businesses while 49.5 per cent in need of loans for education,” she pointed out.
One of the group leaders Ms Anna James from Akina Mama Tupendane group from Nyakato Ilemela Municipality said the awareness seminar from NSSF team has enlightened her and was ready to mobilise her group members to join the scheme.