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Aliira Simon crowned NSSF Friends with Benefits season 3 winner

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Aliira Simon crowned NSSF Friends with Benefits season 3 winner

By Our Reporter

In 2013, after receiving his NSSF retirement savings of UGX 85 Million, Aliira Simon who worked for Kinyara Sugar Works Limited from 1993 to 2012 retired into sugarcane plantation farming in Kinyara, Masindi district. Today, Simon who invested his retirement savings to buy 23 hectares and lease 64.8 hectares of land for his Sugar Cane Plantation has won the coveted Friends with Benefits contest with a cash prize of UGX 30 million, winning 23.78% of the vote.

Simon, credits the success of his business to involvement of his family in the decision-making process from the beginning. “Initially when I received the money, I called an emergency family meeting to discuss investment options. After so much deliberation, we settled on Sugar Cane Planting, something that I was already familiar with and the rest is history.” The sugarcane plantation that started with an initial investment of UGX85M in October 2012 produced its first sale worth UGX 250m in 2015 and UGX 220m in 2016. Mr. Simon has continued to buy more land for him to able to plant on a large scale

Mr. Patrick Ayota, the Deputy Managing Director of the Fund says that NSSF started this program for exactly stories like Simon’s in the hope that through the shows various facets, it would build a financially empowered membership in NSSF, reverse the current trend of the short lifecycle of businesses and give members other investment options upon retirement.

“The Friends with Benefits show has successfully highlighted the critical importance of informed investment. My advice to all our savers is to put enough research and thought behind an investment idea before jumping into it, so that you can invest in something that can give you good returns and can guarantee a sustainable income for you.” He said.

At the finale event, organized at Mestil Hotel in Kampala, the first runner up with 15.90% of the total vote was announced as Martin Owako, who walked away with a cheque of 15 million shillings. Mr. Owako, a seasoned economist, had worked with several Multinational Companies before retiring at 48 to take on Mofi Uganda Limited (a family business). He had to wait another 2 years before he was eligible to withdraw his age benefits. He invested 60M by erecting a residential home in Pallisa, UGX 15M in Mofi guest house, UGX 60M to purchase a Tourist Van (Mofi Tours), UGX 30M to Mofi Supermarket, UGX 15M into poultry specializing in Turkey and UGX 25M in Mofi consultancy by enrolling for a P.H.D at UNICAF. Today, he makes UGX 17 Million monthly from all these investments.

With 15.62% of the vote, Second Runner up Mr. Edson Mwine, a former Kyambogo University electric technician resigned from his university job to start his own welding machine business in Rugando, Mbarara District. The 46 year old Edison withdrew his exempted employment benefits in 2018. With only UGX 600,000 as his benefits, Edson started a Welding business in his community and has so far trained more than 200 students in the field of industrial training (electrical installation and welding manufacturing) in his community. Edson won UGX 10 Million

The Judge’s choice award went to Dr. Sarah Mubiru. Dr. Sarah prioritized a sweet manufacturing factory which she named Aroma Honey Toffee where she makes sweets out honey. The judges’ choice award was this year introduced to reward a contestant whose story had great impact and aspects of sustainability, but did not make it to the top 8 finalists. Dr Mubiru bagged UGX 5 Million for her outstanding story.

“As NSSF, we are very pleased with the show and how it is transforming lives and attitudes of people towards developing a savings culture and it is an investment that we have seen yield direct returns for the fund,” said Patrick who credits the growth of the voluntary saving scheme now standing at over 22,000 members largely to testimonials from Friends with benefits.

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Local Business

Freelyformd: A consultancy firm reinventing delivery of IT Solutions in Uganda

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By Our Reporter

Software development and incorporating IT solutions in business has over the years become integral and a driving mechanism for the sustainable growth of any company, especially Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Founded in 2017, Freelyformd is a Ugandan-headquartered provider of IT consulting services and custom software development with IT professionals located internationally.

The company handles complex business challenges, building all types of custom and platform-based solutions and providing a comprehensive set of end-to-end IT services with customer satisfaction in mind.

Freelyformd brings custom and platform-based solutions to large and mid sized companies in Healthcare, Banking, Retail, Telecom and other industries.

From the development stage to the end result, the client is able to interface with the developing team which creates a bond like no other. Freelyformd offers services such as dedicated developer teams, Mobile App Development, Web applications and Website Design, Enterprise software development, software testing & QA, Security Audit, IT Consulting, DevOps,
USSD, and Startup partnerships.

The company has experience and the expertise to build custom web & mobile solutions of any kind for any client as well as IT consulting, software development and testing as can be testified by many clients.

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NSSF members urged to embrace new technology

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NSSF MD Richard Byarugaba

By Our Reporter

The National social security Fund has asked all its members (employers and
employees) in the Western region to embrace and skillfully utilize their available technological innovation especially their online channels and platforms. This was accentuated during the NSSF western regional employer meeting which was held at Hotel Triangle in Mbarara on Tuesday.

This meeting was the fourth in the Western region and the second of its kind to take place in Mbarara town. The NSSF Western belt is comprised of districts like Masaka, Mbarara, Bushenyi, Kanungu, Kabale Kisoro and Fort portal.

“We must accept that the environment of doing business has changed due to the sophisticated technological progressions that are happening now, we as NSSF, have pushed for a paperless economy in all our branches, therefore we request all our customers to appreciate our e-services for a better service delivery,” Managing Director, Mr. Richard Byarugaba said.

The Fund’s current statistics show that 70% of their members access their services such as self-registration, clearing remittances and checking balance statements via their online portal whereas only 30% are still visiting the branches for services.

According to Mr. Geoffrey Ssajjabi, NSSF Head of Business, this percentage is promising but it’s not their target, therefore, for them to be able to hit their intended target of 100% e-services, members have to appreciate the existing Fund’s online channels and interact with them more often.

Mr. Byarugaba highlighted the key importance of the online tools such creating customer satisfaction, saves money and time, staff and customer convenience.

Members in the Western region have expressed their sincere gratitude to the fund for always being transparent and interactive with its members on issues that need clarity.

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dfcu Bank rewards winners of Investment Club App

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By Our Reporter

dfcu Bank has rewarded six Investment Clubs with cash prizes for emerging the winners of the Bank’s Investment Club campaign dubbed “Bonanza ne Investment Club App”. The two-month campaign which was aimed at encouraging Investment Clubs to grow their savings attracted participation from existing and new Savings Groups across the country.

The Clubs received UGX 1,000,000/- each, which was presented to them during a financial literacy session organized by the Bank under the theme, “Building and growing the Investments Engine.” The session was also attended by over sixty Investment Clubs.

The six campaign winners included; Eight Investment Club, Ngeye Kwagalana Association, Moside Savings and Investment Club, Ladies Together Investment Club, Da Climbers Investment Club, and Fontaine Ladies Association Limited.

In November 2019, dfcu Bank launched its Investment Club App as part of efforts to leverage technology in advancing financial inclusion. With more than 24,000 Investment Clubs, the App is instrumental in simplifying the day to day management of group savings.

Speaking during the session, Robert Wanok dfcu Bank’s Head Personal and Business Banking encouraged the groups to take advantage of opportunities that foster individual and combined growth. He also applauded them for their commitment to growing their respective club savings, which was a key aspect of the campaign.

“On behalf of dfcu Bank, I congratulate our winners and commend their dedication to boosting their financial standing. The success of Investment Clubs is determined by the discipline and commitment of their members. The success of many is made possible by combining the efforts of many and the success of this campaign is a testament to this fact,” Wanok said.

Pamela Nakityo, Senior Manager Investment Clubs and SACCOs at dfcu Bank noted that the Bank has made significant progress in growing a culture that promotes group savings.

“Over the past 13 years, dfcu has not only introduced the Savings and Investment Clubs Product to customers across the country, we have been part of initiatives such as Battle for Cash which directly benefit these groups with funding as well as learning opportunities,” she said.

She also noted that as part of dfcu’s commitment to driving financial inclusion, the Bank extends several benefits to its customers including regular and free financial literacy sessions which are free of charge, mentorship and coaching from expert consultants as well as financial support to grow their savings and investment portfolios.

423 members in 76 clubs have benefited from the financial literacy session since January 2020, with over 5,000 clubs and SACCOs expected to benefit by the end of the year.

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Total Uganda contributes Ugx 30 million towards refurbishing school in Wakiso

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By Our Reporter

Total Uganda has reaffirmed their commitment to their continued partnership with the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) by contributing Shs30,000,000 towards the construction of a classroom block at Namagera Church of Uganda Primary School in Nakaseke, Wakiso District.

The school was constructed in 1980 and currently has a capacity of 290 pupils. A visit by Total Uganda’s staff to the school revealed that the poor infrastructure (classrooms), limited sanitary facilities and lack of accommodation for teachers were among the issues affecting the school’s academic performance.

Total Uganda’s Managing Director, Obi IMEMBA handed over the cheque to General David Muhoozi, the Chief of Defense Forces (CDF), at a ceremony held at the UPDF headquarters in Mbuya.

During the cheque handover, Mr. IMEMBA reiterated Total Uganda’s commitment to the communities it operates in and commended the UPDF for its Tarehe Sita activities.

“Education is an investment that is why we also need to invest in proper infrastructure to provide a conducive learning environment for pupils. Total Uganda believes in quality education being one the most important growth drivers for the social–economic development of Uganda. Investing in education should be a top priority for everyone in the community,” IMEMBA remarked.

The Chief of Defense Forces, General David Muhoozi expressed his gratitude towards Total Uganda’s contribution and pledged to continue working with them to help various communities.

“As part of our 39th Tarehe Sita celebrations, which we held in Nakaseke, we identified Namagere Church of Uganda Primary School as one that needed help. Through our very good relationship we enjoy with Total Uganda, we reached out to them to offer any support possible. We are thankful that they were willing and have gone ahead to fulfil their promise.
The classroom block will be built by the UPDF Engineering brigade,” General Muhoozi said.

The headmaster of Namagere Church of Uganda Primary School expressed his gratitude at Total Uganda and the UPDF’s generosity towards the school.

“We are indeed indebted to Total Uganda and the UPDF for the additional classroom block. The obligation is on us to repay your efforts by excelling. We are going to work hard to be among the top schools in this community,” he said.

Total Uganda is committed to ensuring access to quality education for all children, in particular the underprivileged ones from disadvantaged and marginalized communities, so as to realize immense significance for overall development of the country.

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