Aug 5, 2009, 3:15 AM
The Managing Director of the National Social Security and Insurance Trust of Sierra Leone (NASSIT), Joseph Mans, and his Gambian counterpart Edward Graham of the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) have met in Banjul to further strengthen bilateral ties and expand on their social security trust to benefit their citizens living in both countries.
Welcoming his counterpart and team, accompanied by Ambassador Soulayman Daramy, Mr Edward Graham expressed his delight for what he referred to as partners in social security development.
The visit he said would further help both countries to address and solve their challenges in the interest of their citizens and nations.
In his response, Mr Mans thanked Mr Graham for the reception accorded him and team since their arrival.
He also commended Ambassador Daramy for being instrumental in inviting the Trust to Banjul and the staff of the Embassy for putting together a comprehensive register of all Sierra Leoneans in The Gambia, which he said would help them greatly in their expansion drive and plans to come up with a health insurance scheme.
He said his Trust is trying to develop a “very robust” team with regard to essential information that would be put at the disposal of the Gambia’s Social Security.
Ambassador Daramy said both countries have signed a joint communiqué for closer cooperation that includes Technical Cooperation and Services.
He assured of the Embassy’s support and called for more collaborative meetings.
In another development, Ambassador Daramy and Director Mans and team also had audience with the Chairman of the Gambia Social security, Hon. Momodou Aki Bayo, who also doubles as the Minister of Lands and Regional Government.
Introducing the visiting team, Director Graham said his institution needed to copy the practical expansion project of Sierra Leone’s NASSIT by being proactive rather than academic, adding that social security must be well managed in the interest of the people and country.
He noted that both The Gambia and Sierra Leone are moving forward rapidly in their social security drive and operations, adding that even the International Labour Organization could learn from them.
Minister Aki Bayo warmly welcomed Ambassador Daramy, and Director Mans and team, referring to them as Ambassadors of Sierra Leone.
“The Gambia and Sierra Leone share much in common, therefore we must as a people and country exchange knowledge for the rapid development of the country and people in the area of social security,” he said.
The Minister promised his cooperation and that of his Ministry and Government.
Director Mans thanked the Minister for his time and attention given to the team and promised to work with them.