Finance Minister Disagreed with Amongi’s UGX 6bn Request

The Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija has said that he disagreed with the Minister of Gender, Betty Amongi for the request of Six Billion Shillings.

Kasaija was on Thursday appearing before the select committee probing the National Social Security Fund-NSSF.

The controversial request was made through a letter from Amongi to the NSSF Board Chairman Peter Kimbowa and it proposed to facilitate activities to grow the Fund savers.

The NSSF Fund is supervised by both the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Gender as per the recent amendment of the NSSF Act by Parliament.

Kasaija said that it is irregular for a ministry supervising the Fund to request money from it because Ministry of Gender is provided a budget through the Treasury.

Kasaija added that the matter of the 6 billion Shillings came to his attention and he disagreed with it in principle.

Reports indicate that Amongi declined to re-appoint the former NSSF Managing Director, Richard Byarugaba after the Fund failed to approve the 6 billion Shillings.

The Minister also told the committee that he had no problem with Byarugaba. He said that Byarugaba always consulted him if he thought there was something he could not go over.

Patrick Ocailap, the Secretary to Treasury also confirmed to the committee that the 6 billion request by Amongi was not approved in the NSSF budget.

Appearing before the select committee, Amongi said that her decision to request for 6 billion Shillings was guided by Section 29 of the NSSF Act. She said that the law mandates her to amend the NSSF budget.

Amongi explained that the law provides that the Board may, with the sanction of the Minister make a disbursement notwithstanding that the disbursement is not provided for in any budget.

This statement prompted a query from Buwamba County MP Richard Gafabusa who questioned how the 6 billion was arrived at.

In response, Amongi said that she requested for the funds after she identified that the Fund’s current financial year 2022/2023 budget did not provide for activities to implement the amended NSSF Act which introduced voluntary contributions.

Amongi said that the Board invited her to a meeting on 25th November 2022 and her request was part of the agenda.

The Select Committee Chairperson, Mwine Mpaka asked the Permanent Secretary, in the Ministry of Gender Aggrey Kibenge how the 6 billion was developed.

Mpaka noted that the budget that came from investment committee and project monitoring of NSSF did not have the 6 billion.

Kibenge said that the money was originated in a meeting between the Minister and NSSF management, including Byarugaba.   

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