BY K F MALE
The Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Kin Kariisa has rallied the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) the regulator of media broadcast in the country to tag the National Security Fund (NSSF) Compliance Certificate to the annual operational license given all media channels to save several journalists whose NSSF is not remitted to the fund.
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is the umbrella body for all Television, Radio, and Online broadcasters in Uganda.
Kin Kariisa was speaking at the NSSF digital engagement workshop involving the National Information Technology Authority Uganda, (NITA-U), Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), the Ministry of ICT, and the Ministry of Labour Gender and Social Development held at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.
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He also noted the UCC has diluted the media industry by giving licenses to every person to start up radio stations even when they can fully manage to finance them.
He argues that this has led to the poor pay of journalists in the country and not adherence to the amended NSSF Act by media owners.
“As chairman of NAB, I am aware that more than 30 cabinet ministers own radio. station and more than 100 members of Parliament own radio stations and it’s the reason why UCC has diluted this industry out of those 300 radio stations not more than 30 break even and not more than 50 are legalized with proper staff contracts among others”. Kariisa noted.
Godfrey Kabyanga the State Minister for ICT and National guidance highlighted the partnership with NSSF to help them find out the number of employees that are in radio.
He added that there are several petitions from radio stations where employees say that they have not been paid for several months, and some have not appointment letters and contracts.
He wants any media station to renew its license, they should present not just a registration certificate from NSSF, but NSSF should give clearance showing that they have cleared their obligations with the Fund.
This is aimed at saving the employees who don’t have contracts with their employers and also safeguarding the contributions by the employees which in not remitted by some employers of these media stations, he stressed that even if it requires amending the regulations it will be done.
Kabyanga advises the NSSF to continue engaging sectors for people to get this information about the Social Security Fund mostly voluntary savings.
The Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development Betty Amongi Akena said the average compliance rate is now at 51 percent which calls for addressing the critical issue of compliance to ensure that every sector complies.
Amongi however, said that the compliance for the communication and technology sector is very low. During the engagement sector plays in the communication industry asked for time and engagement with the ministry before enforcement is considered.
Patrick Ayota the managing director of the fund during the engagement revealed that the life expectancy of Ugandans went up saying several people can now live for long and benefit from their savings.
According to Ayota, last year the fund paid 1.1 trillion shillings, and only 2 percent was paid to survivors which is good news that people live longer to enjoy their savings.