21 July 2010

Uganda: Social Security Fund Gets New Boss

Kampala — Banker Richard Patrick Byarugaba is the new boss of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).

The appointment was made by finance minister Syda Bbumba.

Byarugaba, who has been the head of Global Trust Bank, beat 32 other candidates in interviews conducted in May, the chairman of the board, Vincent Ssekkono, said.

"He is qualified for the job and carries a wealth of experience in managing large financial organisations of international repute, including commercial banks," Ssekkono said in a statement yesterday.

A graduate of statistics and economics from Makerere University, Byarugaba has held various positions at Standard Chartered, Nile and Barclays banks.

The Global Trust Bank management yesterday described the appointment as a "positive development".

It said it would not affect the business of the bank, which it said, has a tested management team and good succession plans. A successor will be announced soon, the bank added.

Byarugaba replaces David Chandi Jamwa, who is facing charges of abuse of office in which the fund lost billions of shillings.

He is also accused of authorising the fund to purchase a sh11b land in Temangalo, a price said to have been inflated.

Jamwa's predecessor Leonard Mpuuma was also charged in 2007 with causing financial loss, abuse of office and receiving a bribe.

The court ordered Mpuuma to pay sh100m on March 28, 2008 after he pleaded guilty.

He paid the money and was cleared of the charge of receiving a bribe.

The NSSF is a national saving scheme mandated by the Government to provide social security services to employees in Uganda. It was established by an Act of Parliament in 1985.

NSSF spokesperson Olive Lumonya said the interviews for the job were conducted by Ernst and Young, an accountancy and human resource management firm.

"The process was transparent and carried out by a panel of senior experts, after adverts had been placed in all the national and regional newspapers," she said.

Who is Byarugaba?

Aged 49, Byarugaba who is married with children, brings a wealth of experience spanning a period of 25 years, Lumonya said.

At Barclays, he was the chief operations officer before moving to manage Gold Trust Bank.

Byarugaba is a qualified accountant with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and holds a management diploma from the Henley Management College of UK. "Byarugaba has a lot to offer in terms of experience and operations of day-to-day work," Lumonya said.

Byarugaba takes over from Grace Isabirye, who has served in acting position since Jamwa was suspended last year.

Byarugaba started his career as a banking officer at Standard Chartered Bank in 1983 and rose to the position of executive director for finance in 1992, according to his CV. In 1994, he was transferred to London as regional manager for finance in charge of Africa.

While in London, he implemented a multi-million accounting software for the bank's Africa operations.

He returned to Uganda in 1997. By the time he left for Nile Bank, he was in charge of finance.

In 2003, he was appointed Nile Bank managing director, a position he held until December 2006 when the bank was acquired by Barclays. He was appointed the Barclays chief operations officer until November 2008 when he became the boss of Global Trust Bank.

He has also held several board positions at Standard Chartered Bank, Nile Bank, Hospice Africa, Palliative Care Association of Uganda and the Uganda Institute of Banking and Financial Services. He is also a former president of the Uganda Institute of Bankers.

He enjoys jogging and football.

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