1 March 2014

Rwanda: RSSB Should Rethink Its Investment Strategy

THIS PAST week was definitely a memorable one for media practitioners; there was a major shakeup in some government parastatals, and a sour cattle deal cost a Permanent Secretary his job.

To top it all up, Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) rattled a hornet's nest when it published - what some have termed "obscene" prices for a new housing estate that targeted the super rich at the expense of the middle and lower classes.

RSSB then shot itself in the foot when it tried to justify its decision of giving priority to luxury homes when there is a dire shortage of affordable housing.

If pegging a two-bedroom apartment with a price tag of Rwf124 million, the cheapest, is not a public relations disaster, nothing is.

RSSB should stop thinking like a private investor that wants to service bank loans as soon as possible, seeking quick returns on their investments. It is using pensioners' funds and they should be its priority. The institution's social responsibility should be reflected in all its undertaking and do away with its Wall Street-like merciless pursuit for a quick buck.

Anyone who can afford a Rwf300 million home definitely has a plush roof over their head, so RSSB should fix its attention to the hundreds of thousands of city dwellers who are in need of decent housing, and leave the luxury home market to private developers.

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