BY DAVID MAFABI
President Museveni has hailed National Social Security Fund (NSSF) for growing from a small fund to one that now takes part in big investment projects in the country.
The President while speaking at the commissioning of the shs1.4 trillion Lubowa housing project on today [8, September] appreciated NSSF for helping to bring together little savings and growing them into something big.
“You can now hear that the collections from the workers and employers are now totaling to shs17 trillion. You can see that combining in small bits is producing big results. That message of collective savings is very important for everybody. You can save and do big things. That’s how capitalism grew. Ugandans should learn from this one,” President Museveni said.
“This good work is only 10% of what will be done. In other words, we shall have a new city here built by NSSF in these former coffee plantations which used to be here,” he added
According to the president, the biggest challenge now is on moving the population into the money economy adding that what NRM is struggling with, is bringing the whole society into the money economy.
He revealed that by 1969, the households in the money economy were only 4% and 96% were in subsistence production but that when they came [NRA] they talked about it but things were not moving and that by 2013, some 68% were still in non-monetary GDP.
“It has gone down to 39% . We now want to win over the remaining 39% and this is the strategic success we need. We are now moving well and once we have mobilized all the nine million homesteads to be involved in commercial production, everything will be well,” the president said
“I am very happy (with this project). This is a good initiative and I want to congratulate NSSF for this big investment,” he added further.
The Finance Minister, Mr Matia Kasaija also applauded NSSF for having grown over the years into one of the exemplary public institutions in the country.
“The fund now constitutes 9% of Uganda’s GDP and total assets are shs17 trillion. It collects over shs1.6 trillion every year. This is awesome,” Mr Kasaija said
Mr Richard Byarugaba, the NSSF Managing Director said the project is intended to help solve the problem of housing in the country.
“There are about 13 million people in urban centers in the country. Over 50% of Ugandans by 2050 will be in cities and above 35 million people in total yet housing is an integral part of developing our nation. This project will reshape the future of housing in this country since it will have a multiplier impact,” Mr Byarugaba said.
He noted that in the first phase of the project, 73.3 million dollars has been spent while employing over 1500 people directly and 3200 people indirectly.
“We have invested close to $31million on construction materials that have been sourced from local industries and have created over 1,500 direct jobs and 3,200 indirect jobs through the construction of this project. These numbers will increase as we implement the next eight phases” he added.
Mr Byarugaba said the units are to be sold on a rent-payment model where one pays a small percentage of the total cost of the unit and starts living in it as he pays rent and on completion of the money, they officially own it.
He explained that the project will have additional services and infrastructure including electrical and street lighting, a wastewater treatment plant, security, a communication system, and a road network.
About the project
The entire NSSF Lubowa housing project will have 2,740- housing units including villas, townhouses, bungalows, and apartments located in Lubowa, Wakiso District along Entebbe road.
The project has cost an estimated $400m (Shs1.4 trillion).
According to the NSSF, the entire project named Solana Lifestyle and residences is a self-sustaining satellite city with mixed-use housing and commercial developments on approximately 600 acres of the Fund’s owned land in Lubowa.
“The project will offer world-class facilities to live, work, shop, stay and play. When completed, it will be the largest project in East Africa, comprising 2,750 residences including apartments, townhouses, bungalows, and villas. It will also comprise associated amenities, commercial retail space, office space, a school, a hospital, leisure and commercial centers, police and fire stations, places of worship, green buffer zones, and a series of four parks along the riverine system, among others,” Mr Byarugaba said.
Reports from NSSF reveal that the construction of phase one and two comprising of an initial 306 housing units and project infrastructure commenced in December 2017 and is ready for sale and that the entire project will be completed in 10 years’ time. Ends