The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: NSSF to Invest in Energy, Roads

The National Social Security Fund plans to expand its investment portfolio to cover energy and infrastructure. Chairman Adam Mohamed yesterday said the move is driven by the need diversify investments as well as conform with the law capping its real estate holdings to less than 30 per cent of its total investments.

"We will invest in infrastructural and energy projects of high value and high impact for social development," said Mohamed. "We want to take up energy transmission projects including pipelines and power line, as well as production sector among them power plants."

He said they have identified Likoni Channel in Mombasa as one of the infrastructure projects they are keen on investing in by building a suspension bridge or an underground tunnel to ease transportation across the Mombasa island.

"These are dreams we wish to turn into reality soon," Mohamed said.NSSF also hopes to engage in construction of superhighways."Our horizon in the traditional investment sectors including the real estates, securities and government debt is limited and therefore the future is in other sectors," he said.

Mohamed was speaking at the ISO 2000 certification award ceremony in recognition of the funds' improved service delivery.The fund also plans to venture into the hospitality sector with the construction of a hotel at a parcel of land it owns next to the Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi. The building will also host apartments, an office block and a convention centre.

Mohamed said construction of the 30,000 housing units in Mavoko will begin this year. The mix use Sh1 billion residential and commercial housing project will include a light rail system.

NSSF which is expected to change from a provident to pension fund as soon as a bill currently in Parliament is passed will outsource its collections business unit to Kenya Revenue Authority from April 1.

Mohamed said they hope to triple the number of contributors from 1.4 million to about five million in the next two years, tapping from the devolved system of government where more jobs as expected to be created.

NSSF is currently managing Sh120 billion in member contributions which receives more than Sh6.7 billion in remittances annually.

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