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City of Banjul
Wednesday, December 2, 2020

OMBUDSMAN DROPS BOMBSHELL IN SSHFC SAGA

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By Omar Bah

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A report purportedly written by the Office of the Ombudsman said to be the outcome of an investigation into the social security saga is doing the rounds on social media.
Dated October 29th 2018 and addressed to the Secretary General, Office of the President, the report made several recommendations on the way forward in solving the matter.
Among the key recommendations include one which suggests that
MD Muhammed Manjang return a cash amount of over D100,000 to the cooperation without delay.
“The seven days per diem paid to the MD amounting to D103, 040 to attend a meeting in Sierra Leone which he never attended should be refunded to the corporation without delay,” the report stated.
The report also accused Manjang of ethical misconduct, abuse of the corporation’s entertainment budget, gross violation of the service rules, discrimination, favoritism, amongst others.

The report also frowned on the decision to send Isha Bayo and Pa Yusupha Gaye for overseas training instead of allowing them to pursue ACCA in the country, the purchasing of two mobile phones for himself costing D119,435.50, highlighting that such acts contradict the managing director’s austerity measures.
“The Ombudsman recommends that the Managing Director should refund to SSHFC the sum of D29,869,85 being money spent on dinners at Coco Ocean Resort Spa and KORI d’OR with his family members without delay. This is because the entertainment vote is not meant for his family but for office and official guests. Misusing of Public funds must be discouraged,” it stated.

The Ombudsman’s report also urged the MD to be guided by the relevant laws, service rules and policies in taking and making administrative and management decisions.
The report also said the management of the SSHFC should ensure that there is a training policy in place to guide the training needs of the institution.
“Promotion and training should depend on appraisal of staff and institutional needs. It is important that staff are appraised and their training needs, weakness identified for building their capacity and that of the institute rather than giving staff the choice to accept or decline training offer.”

The Ombudsman also recommended that competent members of staff of SSHFC should be nominated to fill the existing vacant board seats to represent the corporation’s interest on the various boards such as Trust Bank Home Finance and Gam-Petroleum without delay.
The Ombudsman report said the claim by the staff that the MD traveled to Dakar many times for treatment is incorrect while another claim that he occupied 5 seats on the GNPC board is also not true.
Also according to the report, the board should take appropriate actions in relation to the misbehavior of the staff during the strike.

It however said that judging by the past challenges of the corporation, for the MD to cut administrative cost by such a margin and register profit after a year of losses is commendable.
Though The Standard could not reach the office of the Ombudsman, two highly placed credible government sources have confirmed that the report is authentic.

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