Liberia: Senate Wants Performance Audit of NASSCORP

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MONROVIA – The Liberian Senate has voted in agreement that a performance audit of the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) will be a key requirement for the confirmation of President George Weah’s two nominees for positions of Director-General and Deputy Director-General, respectively.

The Senate reached the decision after the nomination letters of the two nominees were read on the floor of the Senate. The Public Account Committee of the Legislature has been tasked to perform the responsibility in collaboration with the Senate Committee on Autonomous Agencies chaired by Senator Emmanuel Pennue.

Mr. Dewitt VonBallmoos and Carmerna C. Yeke were recently nominated as NASSCORP’s Director-General and Deputy Director-General, respectively.

NAASSCORP’s mandate is to provide financial security and sustain the quality of life of all workers by delivering convenient and exceptional service through innovative solutions in bridging income gaps and improving the quality of life for all beneficiaries.

NASSCORP could play a critical role in helping the government achieve its Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development through increased investment in infrastructure and improving pension payment mechanisms.

In 2018, NASSCORP was Commissioned as a private investment. The facility was named after the grandfather of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, during whose administration the project was completed. Jahmale’s facility was constructed by the Liberian-owned Muson Group and comprises a three-story imaging and laboratory building with an adjoining four-story outpatient clinic and pharmacy building. The center is truly an all-inclusive medical complex to serve your diagnostic and outpatient specialty needs.

A year after the corporation dedicated its multi-million-dollar Medical Diagnostic Center in Paynesville, question marks continue to surround the corporation’s emphasis on investment. For years, the Senate Committees on Judiciary and Autonomous Agencies have been delving into a US$1.4m allegedly invested into Cocopa Rubber Plantation Corporation by NASSCORP.

In 2017, Senator Sando Johnson (NPP, Bomi County) requested the body to invite Managing Director, Dewitt Von Ballmoos to provide a detailed explanation of the transaction carried out by NASSCORP. Senator Johnson in his communication stated that being aware that money within the custody of NASSCORP is collected from workers across the country with the intent of providing retirement and other social reimbursements to beneficiaries, it is significant to know the intent of the investment.

In 2019, NASSCORP reported that it enrolled more than 4,300 pensioners. The Coordinator for Public Sector and Claims Department, Madam Mahdea Belleka, said out of 17,541 beneficiaries, the entity has processed about 4,305 so far.

In March, Firestone Liberia, Inc. announced changes to its employee pension program, effective March 1, in accordance with the Decent Work Act, and per previous and ongoing communications with its employees and retirees. Moving Forward, Firestone Liberia will cease company-direct pension payments for retirees who qualify for, and are due, pension payments by National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) – in accordance with the law.

 In situations where current retirees do not qualify for a full 40% pension from NASSCORP (40% of the retiree’s final pay amount), Firestone Liberia will make up the balance, ensuring that retirees receive the maximum 40% pension amount.

The company’s transition to NASSCORP administered pensions is only for retirees who qualify for a NASSCORP pension. For current Firestone Liberia pensioners who do not qualify for a NASSCORP pension, Firestone Liberia will continue to honor its pension obligations, through company-direct pension payments, as in the past.

Also, during the year, DG vonBallmoos, was reappointed Chairperson of the Technical Commission (TC) on Investment of Social Security Funds of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) for another three-year term.

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