SATURDAY June 4, 2022
By Tranquility News Reporter, Tanzania
Tanzania’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has embarked on campaign aimed at instilling savings culture among higher learning students.
Officials from the Informal Sector Scheme of the fund along with members of Parliament from the Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs are zooming around higher learning institutions to create awareness of the scheme to students.
During their recent visit at the University of Arusha in Arusha Region, Tanzania, both the officials and lawmakers pleaded with students countrywide to invest in self-employment capital with the scheme in a bid to contend with a growing unemployment challenge facing the youth, including graduates.
The Member of Parliament (Special Seats), Ms Suma Fyandomo, advised the students to consider setting aside TSh20,000 (over $8) of the loans they receive from the Higher Learning Students’ Loans Board for the investment.
“The formal sector, including the government, fails to create jobs to meet the increasing number of students graduating from our universities each year,” she cautioned.
Going by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics, between 800,000 and 1,000,000 graduates enter the labour market a year as opposed to barely 250,000 jobs the economy can create.
“It’s a shame to see a university student lacking a bank savings account,” Professor Patrick Manu, the University of Arusha Vice Chancellor, stressed, as he called on the students to save part of the money they receive from the students’ loans board and their parents.
Mr Isaya Irigo, the president of the students’ government at the university said the campaign was an eye opener and compelling enough to students to invest in their future.
The savings culture is apparently a hard nut to crack to the majority of Tanzanians. A survey by FinScope Tanzania found out in 2017 that only two out of 10 saved for productive investments or asset building.
Lack of training from an early age in setting out financial plans, strategies and honouring them is mostly to blame for not only the low savings culture, but also for financial inclusion in the country standing at 22 per cent, 2 per cent below the continental average.
The 2012 World Bank Findex data indicates that about 3.7 million adult Tanzanians, equivalent to 17 per cent, had access to bank accounts. Thanks to the mobile telephony technology for enabling 9.8 million adults, equivalent to 43 per cent, to have active mobile payment accounts by 2013.
Member of Parliament for Mwanga, Mr Joseph Tadayo, said it was time the country promoted the culture right from primary and secondary schools.
The NSSF Informal Sector Scheme offers social services to members employed in the informal sector and self-employed persons.
Besides students, the scheme targets farmers, livestock keepers, artisanal miners, petty traders, employee-based supplementary scheme, and employer-based supplementary scheme, among others.
Whoever is interested in joining the scheme has to submit a national identity card or its equivalent, a passport size picture, a receipt of at least TSh20,000 monthly contribution paid and a filled form.
The new member, who continues contributing through a bank account or a mobile phone, will be entitled to old age pension, health insurance and other benefits the scheme offers.
The member is also entitled to loans the NSSF lends in collaboration with other public institutions, including between TSh8 million (about $3,500) and TSh500 million (about $217, 391) for putting up small-scale industries, capital, further education, and working gearΩ