After coming under fire for investing in the electricity distribution company shares, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is now having the last laugh after bagging Shs3.3billion in Umeme dividends.
According to the NSSF acting managing director, Ms Geraldine Ssali Busuulwa, the Shs3.3 billion cheque she received from Umeme is a reward for both the Fund’s members and good prudent investment decision as well.
“We didn’t want to lose out on this investment. We did all we could to have the necessary approvals, and nothing was done outside the law,” Ms Busuulwa said on Monday while receiving the Shs3.3 billion cheque from Umeme.
“Our decision to invest in Umeme Limited was well-informed because, among other reasons, this is one of the best performing companies in East Africa and the second largest company on the Uganda Securities Exchange,” she said, adding that the Fund’s shares have appreciated by more than Shs11 billion since it invested in the company.
She continued: “With such rewards we could go back to double figures (better returns for members) but that will be after our books have been audited by the Auditor General.”
NSSF is the third largest institutional investor in the utility distribution company, after purchasing an additional 100million shares in the company in May this year.
Ms Busuulwa said the Fund’s investment in Umeme has delivered good returns to members, making it one of the best performing in the Fund’s equities portfolio.
“In less than two years, NSSF has enjoyed a 41 per cent return from its shareholding in Umeme Limited. The dividends the Fund has received are vindication for the Fund,” she said.
Umeme’s Sam Zimbe attributed the success of the company (Umeme) to the commissioning of Bujagali Dam.
Since commencement of its operations in 2005, the company has invested over USD134m in the distribution system, increased the customer base from 250,000 to about 460,000 customers, and reduced energy losses from over 38 percent to 27percent. Umeme directly employs over 1,300 staff.