NSSF To Defend Multi-billion Investment in Umeme


A postman in Maltby discovers a rabbit inside a postbox in a “silly prank” after it was stolen from its owner.

order geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>“We will cooperate with the committee’s investigation as usual and will be pleased to provide all information necessary to assist the honourable Members of Parliament conduct a fair and transparent inquiry expeditiously, ” said the Acting Deputy Managing Director, Geraldine Ssali Busuulwa .

Following last week’s heated debate on a ministerial statement by the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Maria Kiwanuka, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga ruled that a Select Committee would be set up to investigate specific matters of mismanagement in the Fund.

In a communication read by the Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanya on Tuesday evening, the Speaker appointed the committee to be chaired by Kalungu East Member of Parliament Hon. Vincent Ssempijja to inquire into the allegations.

“In accordance with the Rules of Procedures, I set up this committee to specifically handle matters of mismanagement which include allegations that the NSSF irregularly acquired shares in Umeme; allegations of nepotism in recruitment of staff and irregular disposal of assets,” the Speaker Kadaga noted in her letter.

The Select Committee has up to the August 19, 2014 to investigate and report back to the House.

The other Members of the committee include Alex Ruhunda (Fort Portal Municipality), Sewungu Gonzaga (Kalungu West), Ann Maria Nankabirwa (Kyankwanzi District) and Teopista Nabulya (Workers).

Busuulwa said in a statement to Chimpreports that the Fund is confident it will be exonerated.

“We wish to reiterate that all decisions taken regarding the issues under investigation were in conformity with the relevant policies, procedures and laws of Uganda. They were taken in the best interest of the Fund,” said Busuulwa.

“We are therefore confident that the Committee’s findings will vindicate the Fund’s management.”

NSSF recently described its investment of up to Shs 70 billion in Shares at national power distributors UMEME, as one of the smartest decisions ever taken by the Fund.

This followed payment to the Fund by UMEME of a dividend of more than Shs 3.3 billion for this year.

NSSF added another 100 million to its shares in UMEME last May, bringing its total shareholding to 231 million shares therein, making it the third largest institutional investor in the electricity company.

The dividend payment brought the Fund’s total yield from UMEME, to Shs 7 billion in only two years of investment.

“And with the share cost in the power company ever going up, even if government now decided that this was a bad concession and forced us to exit, I would still walk away with a capital gain of about Shs19 billion,” Ssali told reporters recently.

With such a huge payment, she said, the fund could now guarantee double digit returns to its members come next October, after previous failures to meet the promise due to several shortfalls.

Mrs Ssali said the record dividend had proven wrong critics who were initially opposed to the Fund’s investment in UMEME.

The Fund was accused of jumping the appropriate procedure, which mandated them to first secure clearance from various government oversight bodies like the PPDA, Solicitor General, and the Executive among others.

She noted that, though the UMEME deal came at a time when the Line Minister, the Chairman, and Ag. Chairman was out of the country, somehow the Fund’s Sub Committee decided to go ahead with the concession, because cancelling it would have been expensive to government in terms of compensation.

“I think that the bigger picture here is that when a 4-trillion National Fund is trying to throw money around to get profits for its savers, there’s not always enough space, and such grand opportunists don’t come easy.

UMEME boss Charles Chapman emphasized government’s obligation to ensure that its people have the opportunity to invest in big corporates, saying Utility companies world over have become the best forms of investment.

He added that NSSF had been lucky to have invested in such a lucrative venture.

“If NSSF had been delayed by government, or decided not to go ahead with the concession, the offer would have been allocated to other bigger funds in South Africa of UK, and by now we would be having an interrogation as to why Ugandans were made to miss on lots of billions of revenue,” he said


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