JINJA, UGANDA – The National Social Security Fund (NSSF), last week held a groundbreaking ceremony to kick start the construction of its new Ush3.3 billion shilling (nearly $1 million) commercial building in Jinja town in eastern Uganda.
“It is also in line with the Fund’s investment policy that enjoins us to undertake investments in income generating commercial properties located in major Uganda cities or towns that are expected to produce an attractive return over the long term period,” Richard Byarugaba, the Managing Director said.
He said the project is in line with the Fund’s strategy to unlock the value of its real estate investments and accelerate its growth.
NSSF Board Chairman Patrick Kaberenge said the Fund will invest Ushs 578 billion ($175 million) in the Ugandan real estate market by close of this calendar year.
“This will have a direct impact on our economy by significantly reducing on the housing deficit. As Board members, one of our key objectives on the agenda is to ensure that we implement a number of real estate projects that had stalled,” Kaberenge said.
The four-floor new complex will have a total built up 1,500 square metres, of which 1,200 square meters will be rentable space, and 50 parking slots.
It is planned as a mixed use development with commercial facilities inclusive of office space and retail shops.
The construction works are scheduled for completion by the end of 2017. Architects Dimensions Interiors, a well-known architecture and design firm with extensive experience, designed the new building while Complant is the contractor.
“This is a significant project for the Fund as it is the first of its kind being undertaken outside Kampala, further underlining the Fund’s commitment to contributing to the economic development of the country at large,” Byarugaba said.
He said investment like the Jinja project will enable the Fund to continue to diversify its investments thereby minimizing any risks within its asset classes that can impair the Fund’s ability to achieve its funding.
Fred Omach, the Minister for General Duties, Ministry of Finance, Planning & Economic Development, commended NSSF for the investment in Jinja.
“The government has created a conducive environment to spur economic development and an investment like this for NSSF is a step in the right direction. I would like to commend NSSF especially for investing outside Kampala and spreading such opportunities to other parts of Uganda,” Omach said.
Over the last five years, the Fund has increased its assets from Ush.7 trillion in the financial year 2010/11 to Ush6.25 trillion today. Up to about Shs4.6 trillion of the Fund is currently held in fixed income securities.
The other projects under the Fund’s Real Estate Investments portfolio are Pension Towers – a commercial development project in the heart of Kampala, a 2,741 unit estate high end housing project Lubowa, Kampala, and a 5,000-unit affordable residential housing estate in Wakiso.