By Omar Bah
Recognising the important role effective communication plays in development, the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) under the leadership of Managing Director Mohamadou Manjang has revamped its official website to ease access to information and service delivery.
The revamped website will entail all the services provided by the corporation as well as sketches in the local language for members who cannot read or write.
The colourful launching was graced by representatives from different institutions and stakeholders including Nawec and GPPA.
SSHFC which was established in 1981 to provide pension services and access to housing for its members is the largest institutional investor in the country with a diversified investment portfolio across various sectors of the economy.
SSHFC Managing Director Mohamadou Manjang said the website is imperative to ensure the corporation’s smooth service delivery to its esteemed customers.
“The website is just a temporary measure as we have a lot of other plans to make sure that we effectively communicate with our members. This is very important for an institution like SSHFC that has a membership of almost160,000 with 3,000 pensioners and150,000 yet to retire,” he said.
He said apart from the website, they have plans for other means of communication such as opening WhatsApp groups, radio and television talk shows.
“I think it is in our interest to communicate for people to know what we are all about, especially when it comes to how to access whatever they have to do with us. We are working on multiple platforms.
We have made lot of changes and with our new director of corporate affairs we will come up with lot of innovations to ease communication,” he added.
He said since establishment in 1981, SSHFC has built a number of estates and continues to provide quality services to its esteemed customers, arguing that the current management under his leadership is committed to continue ensuring access to housing.
“The new initiative we have is to ensure that we build houses that would be affordable…Houses that would not be more than D500,000,” he said.
Fabuka Njaay, the director of corporate affairs at SSHFC said the website will help their members to have easy access to the services provided by the corporation.
This, he added, will allow the customers access all information regarding the corporation at their doorstep.
He said all relevant information about SSHFC including its annual audit report will be available on the website as a deliberate act of ensuring transparency and accountability to its members.
Serigne Jallow, chairman board of directors at the SSHFC, said the launching serves as a milestone in the corporation’s drive to ensure effective service delivery.
He said the launching is a clear testimony of the SSHFC’s commitment to ensure they meet their set goals.
“We believe the website will ease numerous communication challenges facing the institution. The board of directors are committed to continue working with the management to ensure that we continue to provide the requisite human capacity for our employees,” he added.
D Jain, the IT director, said with the website, SSHFC customers will engage in less contact and paperwork.
“We believe moving forward e-service is the future when it comes to making enquiry about concerns. This is not because we don’t want to meet our customers, but to make their work easier,” he added.
He said customers can rely on the website to access whatever they want when it comes to SSHFC.
SSHFC is The Gambia’s sole provider of social protection services supporting over 9,579 employers by providing access to those services that best suit the needs of their employees and businesses.
Over the past 38 years, the corporation has set up three schemes, the Federated Pension Scheme, the National Provident Fund, and the Industrial Injuries Compensation Fund enabling it to provide the broadest range of social care in the country, all in one place.
The corporation also supports individuals to prepare for their retirement years by paying into a pension pot or setting aside savings and as well provide workers with protection against loss of income due to injury or ill health.
The corporation has also completed over 6,000 affordable housing units over the last 38 years, with its next housing estate project, located in Basse, to be launched soon.
The SSHFC insurance scheme has over 136,000 members in more than 4,790 companies.
The corporation is also trusted by the quasi-government institutions as well as the private sector to support their employees to prepare for retirement, irrespective of the circumstances.
The corporation recently disclosed that with effective from 21st February 2019, pensioners will benefit from payment increment and 13 months drawbacks.
The corporation has also outlined its commitment to ensure optimum risk-adjust returns and sustainable income for their contributors to ensure funds are prudently invested.