KAMPALA –Gender, Labour and Social Development Minister, Betty Amongi blocked a bogus deal in which National Social Security Fund – NSSF bosses had planned to purchase land in Nakigalala – Wakiso district at an obscene Ugx400b.
Amongi told the select committee investigating the operations of the NSSF on Thursday that the Fund had requisitioned for Ugx400b to pay for land – which the government valuer had estimated to cost Ugx246.1b.
The Muljibhai Madhvan Family owns the land in question – located along the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway. Reports indicate that the Madhvanis have been hawking the same land within the corridors of NSSF for the past three years.
Amongi revealed that she leant about the land in the NSSF budget for the current financial year 2022/2023 – after she was pushed to approve a block figure of Ugx400b – a move she declined – reportedly because the Fund managers could not provide her a due diligence report – including a land title and other documents.
The Minister pointed at the former Managing Director, Richard Byarugaba who had earlier claimed that the NSSF Board and the Minister of Finance had approved the project, whereas not.
Amongi also revealed that she rejected a proposal from the Board to allocate $1m for Corporate Social Responsibility -CSR to construct Judiciary court.
“I told them that I will not approve CSR to construct Judiciary House, which is already being constructed. I advised them to use that money to boost savings groups of low salary earners. I told them if you want me to approve, go and negotiate for construction of industrial court which hears workers’ cases,” said the Minister.
Aggrey Kibenge – the Ministry of Gender Permanent Secretary also confirmed that the Ugx400b was part of the NSSF budget estimates for the current financial year.
He said that before the budget to the Gender Minister, it had been considered by the Finance Committee, and the board through the Chairman, Peter Kimbowa.
The Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija said that he last heard about the land in Nakigalala four years ago when Madvani informed them at State House that he had land to sell. According to Kasaija, he then directed NSSF to carry out due diligence.