16 January 2014

Kenya: NSSF Bosses Grilled Over Divisive Tassia Project

Nairobi — The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Board of Trustees has been taken to task by Parliament's Labour and Social Welfare Committee to explain why the Tassia II project moved from the initial cost of Sh4.6 billion to Sh5.053 billion.

NSSF Chairman Adan Mohamed explained to the committee that the new figure was reached after the developer included all cost likely to be incurred during the development process.

The committee had raised fears that the board may use workers' money to fund the project but the chairman said that plot owners were to fully fund the project.

"The infrastructure development cost will entirely be recovered from the 5,500 plot owners through individual contributions of Sh920,000 per plot," he affirmed.

According to Mohamed, the tender sum will remain as Sh4.6 billion while the added amount will cater for consultant's fees.

China Jiangxi International Limited was awarded the tender to develop the land since they were the lowest bidders.

As the legal land owners, Mohamed said they had been given a condition by the County Government to develop all infrastructure required for the 5,500 plot owners to be given title deeds.

"Of the 5,500 plots, 792 were sold through the NSSF tenant purchase scheme and the balance of 4,708 on cash terms. All were sold as un-serviced plots subject to approval of the physical Development plan by the then City Council of Nairobi," he explained.

"Due to the unplanned manner in which the land had been sub-divided, this required the land to be re-surveyed and planned. A land surveyor, Geoinfo Surveys Limited was appointed to carry out land re-survey works and physical re-planning of the sub-divided plots."

As a requirement by the City County of Nairobi, NSSF has been asked to link the settlement with existing neighbourhoods of Baraka Estate, Nyayo Estate, Embakasi village and Donholm.

"Outering Road as the main entrance and exit point is a bottleneck taking into consideration the envisaged population of minimum 100,000 people likely to be generated by the proposal," a document provided by the board reads.

NSSF is also required to develop a major transport corridor to service the scheme.

After summoning other stakeholders, the committee will then table its report to Parliament.

The Federation of Kenya Employers has since distanced itself from the project saying Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi and the Acting Managing Trustee Richard Langat are misleading the public.

FKE Chief Executive Officer Jacqueline Mugo said in a paid up advertisement that she sent an e-mail approving the project on December 19 last year, before sending another one on January 1, 2014 seeking certain clarifications before the project kicks off.

Mugo however says that she did not get any response to the January e-mail and that Kambi and Langat have been telling half-truths about the whole issue.

Written by JOSEPH MURAYA // January 16, 2014 // 0

She maintained that the two were telling the public that she approved the project through e-mail without stating that she raised certain concerns in a subsequent one.

She at the same time expressed concern over the manner in which the multi billion project was approved saying it should not have been done via e-mail.

Langat sent e-mails to all the Board trustees on December 18, last year with details of the project seeking an approval. Each of the trustees including Mugo Okayed it at the time.

Mohammed however on Thursday tabled legal documents showing that a message of such magnitude can be relayed through email.

Central Organisation of Trade Unions Secretary General Francis Atwoli has also disowned the project.

This leaves four trustees who are okay with the project - Finance Secretary Mutua Kilaka, Labour Principal Secretary Ali Noor Ismail, NSSF Trustee Chairman Adan Mohamed and Langat.

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