By Yankuba Jallow
The Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation on Wednesday July 25th 2018, appeared before the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Public Enterprise of the National Assembly, Halifa Sallah, to present the Corporation’s Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December 2015. The report indicated that the Corporation acts as the sole pension provider to employees in both the public and private sectors; that it operates housing schemes on a mortgage or commercial basis to the general public.
In the audited report by Augustus Prom, it is indicated that the audit did not indicate the implementation status of the audit issues raised in the previous Internal Audit Reports of the Corporation. August Prom auditors told the Select Committee on Public Enterprises, that they were not provided with the Annual Work Plan of the Internal Audit Unit for review.
On the Internal Audit Manual, Augustus Prom Auditors stated that certain key controls and compliance aspects, should have formed part of the areas to be reviewed. On staff loans, the auditors observed that there is no mention of ensuring that there is adequate collateral in place. On rental income, the auditors indicated that there is no linkage of the income to the contracts and ensuring that contracts are in place and valid. Furthermore, the auditors point out that there is no mention of ‘spot check cash-counts’ without notification and cash-counts for cash collection areas within the Corporation. The auditors also indicated that there is no mechanism to ensure loan agreements are in place, for loans to be disbursed.
The Auditors recommended that the Internal Audit Unit should work on developing an annual work plan and have it approved by the Board’s Audit sub-committee, which will act as a further guide to the unit. Hence enhancing its effectiveness. Also, the auditors recommended that the Corporation’s internal audit reports should have a section indicating the implementation status of the previous year’s audit observations, which would enable the unit to follow up and trace the implementation status of their recommendations, for systems and compliance improvements.
Muhammed Manjang, the Director General of the Corporation said they have recorded a consolidated net surplus of D5.47 million, where the Federated Pension Scheme, FPS, accounted for D21.10 million, National Provident Fund, NPF, accounted for a deficit of D15.06 million, Housing and Finance Fund, HFF, accounted for a deficit of D4.37 million whereas the Industrial Compensation Fund, ICF, accounted for D3.80 million.
Manjang dilated that total Net Assets of the Corporation grew by 4% from D5.49 billion in 2014, to D5.68 billion in December 2015, of which D1.46 billion was accounted for by the FPS, whilst NPF, HFF and Industrial Injuries Compensation Fund, IICF, contributed for D3.32 billion, D535.53 million and D366.60 million respectively.
“Member’s Fund grew by 5% to D5 billion during the year under review. The FPF registered a growth of D76 million to D1.426 billion at the end of the year. The NPF saw a growth of D135 million including interest on member’s accounts to D3.22 billion and IICF grew by D45.14 million, to D365.88 million,” he said. On his part, the Finance Director Abdoulie Cham, said the surplus for the year 2015 on the FPF, was D21,100,000 which in his words, is less than that of the year 2014, which was D27,844,000.
In the Augustus Prom Audit, the auditors indicated that NPF, which total equity investments amounted to D1,152,000,000 with an amount of D709 million which is non-performing and comprises 61.55% of total equity of the NPF; that there is a total loan amount of D1,157,000,000 disbursed to member institutions which have been non-moving since 2013; that this means there have been no repayments to the fund, for a period of three years. The Auditors opined that these matters could have a future negative impact on the Corporation if trends continues.
On the NPF, the Finance Director disclosed that the Corporation for the year 2015, registered a deficit of D15,062,000 whereas in the year 2014, it accounted for D25,534,000 as a deficit.
“Also on the HFF, the Corporation registered a deficit of D4,367,000 at the end of the year 2015 whilst at end 2014 the deficit was D3,311,000,” stated Cham.
The Committee continues sittings today, for clarification and recommendation among other issues, at 11 am.