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City of Banjul
Friday, November 27, 2020

SSHFC MD defends tight spending, refutes allegations

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By Omar Bah

The managing director of Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation has denied allegations that he specifically hand-picked or favored a female member of staff to study in Ghana.
Muhammed Manjang was responding to allegations made by some members of his staff who also alleged corruption at SSHFC.

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He told Fatu network Tuesday that the decision to approve the lady’s study leave and sponsorship never came from him.
He said he however thinks that since there is no trained accountant in the entire SSHFC, sending someone to pursue professional accounting training will benefit the company in the long term.
“Clearly, there are people with an agenda, who want the status quo to remain and the status quo is not good for this company. It will only break this company,” Manjang told the Fatu network.

Manjang said the accusation of him being heartless is spread around by people who want loan.
“Staff loan is about D130 million, that is about $4 million dollars which I think is higher than any loan portfolio in the private sector or parastatals. I would not be surprised if our portfolio is more than the combined total of all of those institutions,” he said.

The SSHFC, he warned, cannot recklessly use pensioners’ funds for staff needs, adding that the company has other top priorities other than spending a greater chunk of pensioners’ funds on staff upkeep.
“In 2016, for example, every single funding in this company made a loss. This is not our money; we cannot be over generous. Yes, we have to motivate people to push this organization forward, but for goodness sake we cannot be wasteful,” he said.

Manjang said any attempt to tighten spending will naturally attract people crying foul and calling you wicked.
He added: “If we Gambians want this country to move, we have to agree that there will be very difficult choices we have to make and along the way a lot of people will feel offended; a lot of people will make allegations as they want; but as far as I am concerned, so long as my conscience is clear and so long as I know I am doing it in the best interest of the nation, I will forge ahead with that.”

On the appointment of one Jamal, Manjang said he is the most qualified person for the job that he has been hired to do for the company.
“Jamal has a contract for six months. We have fundamental need to move our systems ahead. Now, the rule says you can appoint someone on a six-month contract. We appointed him on a six- month contract,” he concluded.

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