The Director-General of the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT), Mohamed Fuaad Daboh, on Thursday, 10th March 2022, revealed the Trust’s intention to construct up to 10 campus hostels for students and 5000 affordable housing units across the country.

He was speaking at a ceremony for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between NASSIT and the China Gansu International Corporation for Economic and Technical Cooperation (CGICOP).

The epoch-making event brought together the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Alpha Timbo, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Professor Joseph Aruna Lawrence Kamara, the Chairman, Presidential Infrastructure, Dr Jonathan Tambi, Management and staff of NASSIT and a representative of (CGICOP) at the NASSIT Headquarters in Freetown.

Speaking at the occasion, the Director-General intimated to his audience that the signing of the memorandum of understanding between NASSIT and CGICOP for the construction of student hostels and affordable houses was a major boost to not only the investment portfolio of the Trust, the solving of the perennial student accommodation problem, improving the housing sector, but also to the overall development of Sierra Leone.

The MOU, according to the Director-General, laid bare the platform that defined the relationship between the Trust and the partners and their willingness to collaborate.

Mr Daboh further said that investing in students’ hostels and housing was not only a breakthrough in the Trust’s social intervention strive but also a major boost to the President’s flagship programme of Free, Quality Education, and Human Capital Development.

“The desire for students hostel and affordable and decent housing needs not to be overemphasized. We are all aware of the difficulty our students face and the burden of housing across the country,” he added.

The Director-General reminded the gathering that the Trust was primarily established to administer Sierra Leone’s National Pension Scheme to provide retirement and other benefits to meet the contingency needs of workers and their dependents. He concluded on a note of assurance that the hostels, once completed, would match international standards.

On his part, the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Alpha Timbo, welcomed the idea of NASSIT partnering to invest in student hostels and affordable and decent housing. He noted that the signing of the MOU was the right step in the right direction.

The Minister noted that investing in hostels for students and decent housing was laudable and that it spoke to the commitment of the President’s drive for human capital development. Hon. Timbo, on behalf of the President, thanked all players for such a laudable initiative. He called on NASSIT to undertake tangible developments that would benefit the citizens of the country.

In his statement, Mr Wan Baoxin, leader of the team representing CGICOP, on behalf of his Management, expressed his appreciation to NASSIT for choosing to work with their team for the construction of student hostels and affordable houses. He said he was sure the project would not only ease the problems of students getting stocked in traffic but create a conducive environment for studies.

Profiling CGICOP, Mr Baoxin said his company had footprints in Angola, Zimbabwe, China, and many other countries in the world. He implored all to have confidence in him and his team as they would do a great job. “We will do quality work,” he concluded.

Gleaner Newspaper reports that, seven university campuses, including Fourah Bay College (FBC), Njala University, College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS), Milton Margai Technical University, Freetown Polytechnic, University of Makeni (UNIMAK), and Eastern University are to benefit from this project.