President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday commissioned the 72-million-dollar SOLANA lifestyle and Residences housing estate built by the National Social Security Fund and Used the occasion to appeal to all Ugandan’s to understand the importance of raising joint and collective capital which he said was the only way society can finance and undertake big projects.
The SOLANA housing project is located in Lubowa in Wakiso district. The 72 million housing project which is the first phase of the 10year housing project that will be on 600 acres when completed, has 300 houses on 60 acres of land. The housing units include bungalows, apartments and villas among others on.
The President said Ugandans need to grow into the culture of growing joint capital and be able to do big ventures reminding them the National Social Security fund has been able to undertake big projects country wide overtime because of the collective savings of the Ugandan workers.
“Collective saving is important that’s how Capitalist developed their countries by floating shares and raising capital to do big investments and venture that they could not do individually “the President said.
President Museveni further said that because of the need to raise joint capital in the country the National Resistance Movement government has always promoted and encouraged the formation of Saving and Created Societies (SACCOS) country wide so that Ugandans can be able to raise capital jointly and do big ventures together without necessarily going to banks for loans that are very expensive.
The President further said the pre-occupation of the NRM government is to get the 39% who are still in subsistence way of life and join the money economy. He said that its only when all 9 million families of Ugandans get into the money economy they will be able to purchase and all the house in the many estates that NSSF is putting up or even build for themselves decent accommodation.
The President saluted the Board and Management of the National Social Security fund for investing wisely and contributing to solving the housing shortage in the country. He said that the government will look into the reported value added tax levied on residential houses that are not commercial as well as finding means of boosting availability of mortgages to Ugandans.
The Finance, Planning and Economic development minister Mr. Matia Kasaija commended the National Social Security Fund that he described as an outstanding public enterprise. He pleaded on behalf of his ministry that they were to soon invite the management of the NSSF do discuss and find the solutions to the challenges facing the fund.
The Managing Director National Social Security Fund Mr. Richard Byarugaba said that the NSSF is committed to re-shaping the housing sector in Uganda. He said that with increase in rural urban migration and industrialization and with 13 million Ugandans now living in urban centers and with the projection that 50% of the population of Ugandans will be living in urban areas by 2050 there is need to increase investment in housing to mitigate the housing shortage in the country. He added that the contribution of cities and urban centers to GDP had increased from 19% in 1995 to 43% today which he said calls for proper planning and increased budgeting for cities and the urban centers.
Mr. Byarugaba said that Uganda needs to develop a mortgage development bank to enable Ugandans access mortgage so as to be able buy and own residential houses noting that currently very few Ugandans can access mortgage. He called on government to look into the several land wrangles that are rampant in the country which he said had negatively impacted on the real estate developers NSSF inclusive.
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