National Social Security Fund (NSSF) will in the next financial year spend at least Shs840b on innovative and cost sensitive procurements, especially in real estate sector and information technology, according to the Fund’s managing director.
Speaking during the fifth NSSF suppliers’ conference in Kampala, Mr Richard Byarugaba, the NSSF managing director, said the Fund has about Shs840b in contracts in the next financial year, noting that concertation will mostly be put on technology-driven options. “We will be spending about Shs40b on technological enhancements out of the Shs840b that we have put together,” he said, noting it was time to adapt to a lot of technological innovations in order to deal with customers virtually as well as leverage on the growing digital shift to reach new and potential members.
NSSF has large portfolios, especially in the real estate and securities sector, some of the areas in which the Fund will be seeking a lot of innovations.
“The challenge we put to our suppliers is to provide us with innovations and technology that will enable us to provide low cost housing. We believe that almost 700 members can qualify to buy houses if they were priced below Shs100m,” Mr Byarugaba said, urging suppliers to come up with ideas and innovations that can bring unit costs down.
NSSF members have previously wondered how the Fund expects them to buy houses that are priced way above what they can afford.
During the conference, Prof Augustus Nuwagaba, the Reev Consultant managing consultant, said suppliers tend to neglect procurement processes, which eventually impact returns on investments. “Suppliers should grab opportunities whenever need arises instead of sitting back and relaxing. This is the only way they can win contracts,” he said, noting there was need to harmonise and work on supplier chain, be strategic, ensure proper service delivery and customer satisfaction.
Mr David Kalitani, executive secretary, Institute of Procurement Professionals of Uganda Association, said it was important that suppliers build capacity, leveraging on new innovations in the technology.