Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB), on Wednesday, August 16th,2023 held an annual consultative meeting with all district coordinators of EjoHeza, Long-Term Saving Scheme to assess the last fiscal year performance and devise fresh measures to increase new savers and savings.
During a consultative meeting to assess the scheme’s performance, RSSB Chief Executive Officer, Regis Rugemanshuro, commended EjoHeza scheme coordinators across the country for their efforts in sensitising citizens about its benefits.
He urged Rwandans to embrace the saving scheme to be able to reap pension benefits in the future.
He also lauded local leaders for their commitment in mobilising and educating citizens about EjoHeza benefits.
Augustin Gatera, Head of EjoHeza Department at RSSB, said last fiscal year, Rwf 11.03 billion savings were collected against a target of Rwf 11.1 billion, hence the achievement was 99.3 per cent.
Last year, he said, new savers were 706,048 against the target of 738,075, hence the achievement was 96 per cent.
He said the meeting with EjoHeza coordinators on August 16, devised new measures to sensitise people about the scheme’s benefits to be able to achieve 2023/24 targets, although it is no longer part of districts’ performance contracts.
“We want to devise ways the local leaders can effectively continue to help us mobilise citizens as they used to do, although the scheme’s targets are no longer integrated in the districts’ performance contracts,” he said.
Measures for 2023/24 fiscal year
He said that in two months’ time, different measures will be put in practice to attract more subscribers and boost savings.
“One of the measures is using financial technology or fintech. This will help subscribers to make choices in the mobile money system so that it can automatically deduct any committed amount of savings to the scheme in a certain period they have set up,” he said.
He mentioned that telecom companies will also help subscribers to save, voluntarily, an amount of money to the scheme whenever they buy any product
Other measures include working with BK school management system Urubuto and with COGEBANQUE on School Gear with a school fees payment solution to integrate an option to help parents willingly pay any amount of savings in EjoHeza for their children when done paying school fees.
“Such measures are timely to fill the gap given that EjoHeza is no longer integrated in districts’ performance contracts. We want that government to reintegrate it in districts’ performance contracts,” he said.
District coordinators’ commitments
Following Wednesday’s consultative meeting, EjoHeza district coordinators committed to use diverse measures in meeting 2023/2024 fiscal year targets.
Julienne Ntakirutima, the EjoHeza scheme coordinator in Karongi District said they are going to mobilise citizens by forming Ejo Heza saving groups to be able to attract more subscribers.
“We have to mobilise citizens starting from Isibo-an administrative level under the village. We will help them form saving associations so that they also consider saving for EjoHeza,” she said.
She said the sensitisation will also target cooperatives, schools, and employers in different sectors such as construction among others.
“We have to map all opportunities we have to boost the savings scheme. After sensitisation we will keep monitoring and reporting the saving progress,” she said.
Emmanuel Ntabyera, EjoHeza coordinator in Kirehe District, said the district has so far 70,000 members who have saved over Rwf1 billion.
“There is a need for strong collaboration with local leaders to increase the numbers. We want 5 per cent of the Kirehe District population to subscribe to EjoHeza by this fiscal year,” he said.
By 2024, in June, Gatera noted, the EjoHeza scheme must have 3.5 million active savers with Rwf61.4 billion savings based on National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) targets.
So far, since its inception, the scheme has 3.3 million subscribers of whom 2.8 million are active subscribers who have saved Rwf49 billion in EjoHeza scheme, Gatera noted.
This amount is a total asset under management composed of savings by members, interests earned and government matching contributions.
At least 5,800 members, he said, have received their benefits whether at the age of 55 or inheritance benefits (if a member passes away).
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