LIBERIA: NASSCORP Boss Justifies Tenure, As Liberian Senate Confirmed vonBallmoos As Director General
The Liberian Senate has confirmed with immediate effect, Hon. Dewitt Von Ballmoos as Director General, National Social Security & Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP), Republic of Liberia.
His confirmation followed a report from the Senate Committee on Social Security, Pension & Insurance, headed by Grand Gedeh County Senator Zoe Emmanuel Pennue.
As part of the requirements set by the Senate regarding confirmation of Presidential Nominees, who have been reappointed to the same positions, the report from the Committee was accompanied by a performance and analysis report from the nominee.
Following a report from the Committee, Senators voted unanimously to confirm the nominee.
It may be recalled, the Liberian Senate voted in favour of a motion from Maryland County Senator Glebo Brown to mandate its Committees on Judiciary and Autonomous Agencies to launch an inquiry into US$1.4m allegedly invested into Cocopa Rubber Plantation Corporation by the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation.
The Senate’s decision was contested by a motion for reconsideration by Senator Albert Chie of Grand Kru County. A motion for reconsideration is a privilege motion filed by a senator in keeping with the Senate standing rules. Chie’s motion for reconsideration was denied leading to a prolonged confirmation.
The decision by the Senate came as a result of a communication written by Senator Sando Johnson of Bomi County who requested the body to invite NASSCORP Managing Director, Dewitt Von Ballmoos to provide a detailed explanation of the transaction carried out by NASSCORP.
Senator Johnson in his communication stated that being aware that money within the custody of NASSCORP is collected from workers across the country with the intent of providing retirement and other social reimbursements to beneficiaries, it is significant to know the intent of the investment.
“NASSCORP needs to provide reasons to the plenary of the Liberian Senate as to why they are investing our people moneys at a time when the present government is phasing out. There is a tendency that accountability could be lax and people could carry on dubious acts,” he stated.
“In view of the aforementioned, I request that plenary of the Liberian Senate invites the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation to provide a detailed explanation of this transaction,” Johnson’s Communication stated.
NASSCORP Managing Director, Dewitt Von Bollmoos told newsmen that Nasscorp bought shares/debentures in Cocopa. According to him, it is a normal investment.
Von Bollmoos stated that told the legislature was only trying to politicize the investment.
During his confirmation hearing awhile back, Von Ballmoos said the corporation’s investment portfolio is worth over US$80 million, while cash in banks with fluctuations is as high as US$30 million.
He said most of NASSCORP’s investments are in real estate, with its largest investment being the building housing the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) at ELWA Junction, an office complex in Buchanan, a guest house in Kakata, a 16 bedroom facility in Voinjama, Lofa County; while the latest investment is a diagnostic medical center in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, behind the NASSCORP House which, he said, will be online by September 2017. He said the corporation is also building its new headquarters on 24th Street in Sinkor.
Prior to his confirmation, Von Ballmoos, who together with his former deputy managing director Nya D. Twayen appeared before the Senate Committee on Social Security, Pension and Insurance, denied speculations and reports that NASSCORP has US$9 million in savings with First International Bank.
“The corporation’s board has a policy that we do not have more than 30 percent of any money in any bank. We are saving with every bank in the country and nobody has more than 30 percent of our money.”
He emphasized that the corporation has not encountered any losses with any of the banks they are dealing with, contrary to fears that such was the case.