By Isatou Jawara
Momodou Camara, a chartered accountant, senior audit manager and the Staff Representative in the Board of Directors of the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation has reacted to MD Muhammed Manjang’s media conference during which he defended himself from allegations made against him by some staff.
The MD had defended the sending of a lady staff to pursue ACCA in Ghana, a professional qualification that is latent within the SSHFC ranks, saying it is for the good of the Corporation but has denied ever making the decision all by himself.
He also defended tight spending, saying that the loan portfolio of the SSHFC is bigger than most Parastatals and the institution cannot afford wasting money.
In his response, Mr Camara rejected MD Manjang’s claims that sending a female staff to training was justifiable.
“The fundamental issue is that proper procedures were not followed and indeed they were faulted. The SSHFC has a policy which states that one must serve a minimum of five years with merit before he or she is considered for overseas training. The lady who was sent to study in Ghana barely served for seven months. Besides there are six other people in the queue and who are more qualified than Isha Bayo as per progress registered in AAT, CAT and ACCA’s foundation and intermediate levels respectively in that department being DFI; why is this lady so special? Why was the cardinal principle ignored in this decision?” Mr Camara asked. “This is the real substance of the issue we should grapple with and not try to throw mud to the staff and try to justify the unjustifiable.”
According to Mr Camara, the staff loans of SSHFC which is 80% building loans are properly grounded because they are all on collaterals which have “significantly appreciated over the years and are more than GMD250m.
Mr Camara said the MD needs to realise that the SSHFC is the most efficiently run Parastatal in the country which has made huge investments and has a number of time bailed out many government institutions with loans of up to D800 Million.
“If the staff were not good would the SSHGF be this efficient?” he asked.
Mr Camara concluded that the misuse of the Corporation’s funds under Yahya Jammeh regime has nothing to do with the “staff who have toiled very well to take Social Security where it is today; the envy of all institutions in The Gambia. The steadfastness and stewardship of its gallant staff saw that SSHFC survive the 2008 world financial meltdown with pride.”