Vice President Dr Ghalib Bilal has urged social security funds in the country to extend services to people living in rural areas and boost their economy.
Speaking at a three-day annual meeting for Government Employees Provident Fund members (GEPF) in Mwanza yesterday, Dr Ghalib said the government valued contributions provided by social security funds in building the country’s economy but it hadn’t reached out to rural dwellers.
“The financial sector has been growing from 1,637bn/- in 2001 to 10,040bn/- in 2009. In this sector, the contribution from the social security fund, whose one of its objectives is to register more members, contributes 21 per cent. However, there are few Tanzanians registered with the social security funds to date,” he said.
According to the VP, statistics show that out of 22.4 million able-bodied Tanzanians, those who have registered to six social security funds are not exceeding six per cent.
Dr Bilal commended the GEPF management for doing a good job and ensuring every Tanzanian was registered with a voluntary savings retirement scheme, which would help them during retirement.
“It is a great honour to the government and all Tanzanians for the period of only two years of its operations, GEPS has managed to register 10,000 members through this scheme and managed to deposit 800m/- in a savings account. I hope that in five years’ time, the scheme will grow faster and contribute to the implementation of the social security policy,” he explained.
For his part, GEPF director general Daud Msangi said the number of enrolled members to the fund had been increasing since the scheme’s launch in 2010 to March, this year, where the number had increased from 1,155 to 11,219 members (89.7 per cent). Msangi noted that there had been a monthly increase of membership fees, which had been increasing from 2.62m/- in December 2009 to 115.7m/- in September, last year, and the average monthly membership collection had reached 35,502,541/-.