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Who is Patrick Ayota? Profile, Bio & Career of new NSSF Boss

the new NSSF Managing Director, Mr Patrick Ayota Addressing a pressing conference recently (Photo/Courtesy)

UGANDA: Labour Minister Betty Amongi yesterday appointed Patrick Michael Ayota as the Managing Director of Uganda’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF) on a contract valid for five years with effective from Friday, August 18, 2023.

Ayota who held the position in acting capacity for 8 months replaces Dr Richard Byarugaba at the helm of the worker’s trust body after the latter saw efforts to retain the position for another term thwarted by the minister.

In a statement on Friday afternoon, Dr Peter Kimbowa the NSSF Board Chairman said they are confident that Ayota is the right person to steer the Fund forward at such a critical time following changes in legislation that oblige the Fund to play a leading role in expanding social security coverage to all Ugandans.

“The Board assures all NSSF members, stakeholders, and the public that their Fund is stable and on course to surpass its 2015-2025 Strategic Objectives,” Dr Kimbowa said.

Early life and Education

Born 26th August 1960 in Tororo District – Eastern Region of Uganda, Patrick Ayota attended local Ugandan schools for his pre-university education. He studied at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, in the United States, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Later, he was admitted to the University of South Carolina, at Columbia, graduating with a Master of Business Administration.

Ayota is also a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda.

Career

After graduating in the United States, Ayota took up residence in the Atlanta, Georgia and got his job at the Reznick Group, which today is CohnReznick, a large international accounting firm.

He returned to Uganda in 2007 and took up employment as the Head of Finance at Barclays Bank of Uganda (present day Absa Bank Uganda Limited).

In 2010 Ayota left Barclays Bank and was hired by the National Social Security Fund of Uganda (NSSF Uganda), as the Chief Finance Officer in 2011, going onj to serve in the position for nearly three years.

In 2014, as the worker’s body searched for new top management team, Ayota scored the highest marks for Deputy Managing Director. However, with the intervention of president Yoweri Museveni, a different top team was hired and Ayota remained Head of Finance at the institution.

In October 2017, further changes were made to the NSSF Board and Ayota was named as substantive Deputy Managing Director. He took charge of the Fund’s strategy function until his five-year contract expired on October 29, 2022.

Despite the mandatory retirement age being 60, Ayota together with his former boss Byarugaba showed willingness to continue serving in line with the NSSF Human Resources Policy and Procedures.

Unlike Byarugaba who was and still at loggerheads with Minister Amongi, Ayota was able to have his contract renewed by the board in December last year and also named him acting managing director until the process of appointing the managing director on Friday, this week.

Other considerations

During his stay in the United States, Ayota was an active member of the Ugandan community in North America, serving as Chief Financial Officer of the Ugandan North American Association (UNAA), from 2001 until 2002, and as the Chairman of the UNAA Electoral Commission in 2005.

Effective 2016, he sits on the board of directors of the New Vision Group, as a non-executive director and concurrently serves as the Board Chairman of the government owned media conglomerate.

He also sits on the board of Housing Finance Bank, Uganda’s mortgage lender, where NSSF Uganda has 50 percent shareholding, also as a non-executive director.

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