National Social Security Fund boss Richard Byarugaba has rubbished media reports that the institution would be providing a mind-boggling 1 trillion shillings to for an impending bailout of selected business moguls.
The nation is grappling with tail-spinning details that emerged of President Museveni spearheading a life-saving campaign for heavily indebted businessmen in the last week.
The concern the issue has raised is understandable; the Fund holds 86% of all pension assets in Uganda, according to the Uganda Retirements Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA), with its asset base estimated at 6trillion shillings as of 2015.
Following the reports, sections of the media insinuated the money would be coming out of NSSF coffers, sparking off fury on social media.
However, the Fund boss has come out to refute the allegation.
Below is a full statement to that effect.
We refer to media reports alleging that the Fund has been approached to provide bailout funds for a number of businesses in Uganda.
We would like to inform our members and the general public that the Fund will not provide funds for any bail outs.
Providing funds for loss making businesses falls short of the requirements of both the Fund’s Investments Policy and the Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority Act (2011).
The Investment Policy provides that the Fund can only invest in private equity firms that have registered strong growth and have plans to list on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).
Section 68(1) of the URBRA Act (2011) strictly prohibits lending to any person or institution, except through securities sold on the open market. It also prohibits direct or indirect lending, and use of scheme funds as security for loans.
In this regard, we wish to reiterate that the Fund’s investment decisions are made in the interest of the Fund’s members.
The Fund has adopted an investment approach that is both aggressive and yet prudent and we are confident that our focus on strategic domestic long term investments will drive growth of the Fund in the medium and long terms.”