Do you have what it takes to perch on the NSSF helm?

You have to give it to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF); they keep their communications department extremely busy. All the time! If it’s not some scandal related to procurement (yawn!), it is the board having issues with the line ministry (double yawn!) or some proposal to raise minimum contributions (triple yawn and double take!). So last week, NSSF took pride of place in the headlines with the news that Tom Odongo was sacked as the managing trustee. According to the media reports he was apparently the sixth chief executive in five years. Right! Perhaps the next job advertisement for the role of managing trustee should read as follows:
Exciting opportunity to lead a volatile institution that is crying out for stable leadership and which dabbles in real estate with mixed results now and then. The role has a 5-year contract term, but due to the fluid nature of the organization, a month can be a lifetime around here so no guarantees for completion of a term are provided.
Specific duties are as follows:
1. Strategic Planning: Take a pen and paper and design how the billions of shillings raised money from worker remittances can be used to make even more money for everyone through clever investments that generate tenders. Ensure that the board of trustees are aligned to the strategic plan otherwise the unhappy ones will let out little snippets of (mis)information to parliamentarians and the media in equal measure.

2. Resource Development: Take another pen and paper and design a process to develop higher resource mobilization from the innocent workers and their useless non-remitting employers. Engage the PR department to begin a media campaign putting the fear of God into any employer who does not register their workers. It is imperative that the process of registration is as painful as possible in keeping with our legendary institutional inefficiency. An excellent method would be to provide online registration capability while still requiring documents to be physically submitted into only one location in Nairobi thereby defeating the purpose of having an online process; a surefire winner for the most ineffective process prize at the Company of the Year Awards 2013.
3. Staff Management: Motivate NSSF employees to be the best at whatever it is they do. Even if they do nothing.

4. Build, Build, Build: You see, the NSSF raises billions of shillings that are scorching the lining of the institution’s bank accounts. The banks have therefore complained that our funds are too hot to handle and need to be redeployed into other areas of the economy. The board of trustees have keenly followed this advice and approved all manner of pie in the sky initiatives to build cities in Mavoko, skyscrapers in Nairobi and whatever else requires a tender, sorry, evidence of effective fund utilization. A core component of your role therefore will be to be a builder. We love builders here as they make us money proud.
5. Establish Reforms: We operate in a changing environment and have attended enough leadership courses to know that we are expected to establish reforms that you will be expected to spearhead. However, if you wish to maintain the status quo, we will not hold it against you.
Qualifications and Experience:
The ideal candidate should have a diploma, bachelors or master’s degree in the art of sweet talk. The candidate needs to demonstrate the ability to effectively design strategic plans using a pen and a paper. The candidate should have at least ten years experience managing a complex organization that deals with the government, the Central Organization of Trade Unions and numerous other faceless stakeholders all at the same time. Ability to make each stakeholder feel as if they are the most important entity since the invention of monarchies will be essential.
In addition, the candidate should be a strong team player who should be willing to take one for the team when the board is hauled before whichever parliamentary committee is interested in poking its nose around our business. The candidate should be able to work with maximum supervision as we don’t believe in giving you enough rope to hang yourself with alone. The candidate should demonstrate competencies in word processing (with a pen and paper is quite sufficient for us by the way), managing databases (of a variety of suppliers and building contractors) spreadsheets (we’re not sure what those are but we are just cut and pasting an old application we found in a drawer) and presentation programs (Death by power point strongly encouraged as it makes the meetings longer and allows us to get bigger sitting allowances). It goes without saying that the candidate should have excellent interpersonal, facilitation, negotiating and influencing skills, as all good builders do.
The job attracts a salary that is commensurate with experience and qualifications plus unquantifiable benefits. You can draw whatever conclusions you want from that.
The National Social Security Fund is an equal opportunity employer offering employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, or physical handicap. (At least that’s what we are on paper). If you are interested in applying for this job please send your CV, cover letter and professional references to: and please mark on the subject line: “Lamb to the Slaughter ” “Managing Trustee Application”.
We strongly discourage you from dropping off documents at the NSSF reception as we are highly doubt that insiders will ever allow any job applications past the door.
For more information, please google the word NSSF in your internet browser. We urge you not to be discouraged when you see the results and forge ahead with your application. It will be the ride of your life!
Twitter: @carolmusyoka