The National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) has effected payment of Government Pensioners with a minimum pension amount of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Leones (Le 250,000.00) This is in fulfillment of the promise made by His Excellency the President, Julius Maada Bio, that effective January 2019, no Government pensioner would earn less than fifty percent of the National Minimum wage. The astute Director General of NASSIT in the person of Mohamed Fuaad Daboh wasted no time in transforming the President's declaration into reality.
The Government Pension is a non-contributory pension scheme, payable to retirees and/or survivors in the public sector, most of whom had been pensioners before the establishment of NASSIT. It was first administered by the Accountant General but was in 2004 handed over to NASSIT for administration alongside the NASSIT Pension scheme. The categories of these pensioners include the Wounded in Action (WIA), Killed in Action (KIA), retired civil servants, military and police personnel and teachers who could not be part of the NASSIT Scheme. The condition of these pensioners had remained deplorable over the years. While their counterpart pensioners, the NASSIT pensioners, went home with a minimum of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Leones (Le250,000.00), most of them had gone home with as low as Twenty-Six Thousand Leones (Le26,000) as monthly pension. Despite several verifications, agitation, lobbying, and protests by these pensioners, little or nothing was done by the past Governments to improve their lot. Mr. Jennings Wright, President of the Sierra Leone Labour Congress, during the International Workers Day Celebration in May 2016, said, “A Police Sergeant who had worked for Thirty-Five years is receiving a monthly pension of Le43,000.00. For someone to have worked for so long and receive such a disgraceful pension is beyond human imagination”.
This, according to the Director-General of NASSIT, Mr. Mohamed Fuaad Daboh, has come to an end. The Pension Hall in the West Region Office in Freetown was echoed with thunderous applause and shouting, when the Director-General declared that the President’s promise had come to fruition. “No more shall a pensioner work home with less than Le250,000.00. “Pao...pa Salone go betteh”, a happy pensioner exclaimed. This jubilation was replicated in all Regional Offices across the country.