By Our Reporter
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is seeking to recover over Ushs 160 billion following announcement of a grace period of 3 months for all employers that have not remitted employees’ social security contributions to agree a payment plan. In exchange, the Fund will waive up to 95% of the penalty amount owed, NSSF Managing Director Richard Byarugaba has said.
10,839 out of more than 33,270 employers registered with the Fund have not paid NSSF contributions in a period ranging from 2 months up to 7 years thereby denying their employees social security protection.
Byarugaba said that although it is the obligation of every employer to pay social security contributions for their employees on a timely basis and the correct amounts, the Fund recognises that for various reasons, some employers may be unable to remit funds on a regular basis. Eventually, they get overwhelmed by the arrears and penalties levied on unremitted funds.
“Therefore for the next 90 days, we have declared an Amnesty for all defaulting employers to allow them negotiate payment plans with the Fund. In turn, I will waive up to 95% of the penalty the defaulting employer is supposed to pay. This is on condition that such an employer comes forward, commits to clear all the arrears owed in a period to be agreed by signing a Deed of Settlement,” Byarugaba said.
Section 14 (2) of the NSSF Act empowers the Managing Director to waive “whole or part of any penalty subject to such conditions as he or she may determine.”
He added that using a similar approach, the Fund has already recovered about Ushs 13.7 billion since July 2017 from 380 employers who came forward and signed Deeds of Settlement.
Byarugaba said that employers that do not take advantage of the Amnesty window risk court action to recover the arrears, the penalty and interest accrued. “Litigation is our last resort. We prefer to have discussions with employers as per our Relationship Management business model, because we understand that sometimes, businesses face challenges with their cash flows. However, employers that not only
categorically default but are also unwilling to agree payment plans with the Fund will be taken to court,” he said.
Information available from the Fund indicates that 174 employers have been arraigned before courts of law and over Ushs 17.8 billion has been recovered in the process.
Byarugaba added that beyond paying for their employees’ social security, employers should know that remitting NSSF is good for their business.
“Companies that do business with the government, many other government agencies and even in the private sector are required to present clearance certificates confirming that they are NSSF compliant. We also know that employers who pay social security contributions easily attract and retain the best employees. It is therefore a good business decision for employers to pay NSSF contributions,” he said.
As at end of December 2018, the Fund was worth Ushs 10.2 trillion up from Ushs 8.7 trillion in December 2017. Monthly average contributions are now at over Ushs 96 billion.
Fanfare in Masaka as MTN launches “MoMo Nyabo” promo
By Our Reporter
Business was brought to a standstill in Masaka town on Friday afternoon as MTN Uganda launched the second edition of the “MoMo Nyabo” campaign which is aimed at encouraging customers to transact using Mobile Money.
The campaign which was officially launched during a press briefing held at Brovad Hotel was marked by a flurry of fanfare, much to the excitement of the town dwellers.
The launch was followed by a procession around the town displaying the brand new Toyota Wish cars and motorbikes that will be given away during the campaign.
It culminated in a mega concert which was hosted at the Masaka Recreation grounds. Revelers were entertained by Uganda’s top artistes including Jose Chameleone and Bebe Cool among others.
During the concert, the first winners in this year’s MoMo Nyabo campaign were also announced. Kigundu Rashid and Steven Nanziga emerged the lucky winners and each walked away with a motorcycle.
Meanwhile, prizes worth Ugx 1.5billion will be won by lucky customers in the eight week campaign.The prizes include 24 cars, 32 Boda bodas, 160 smartphones as well as mobile money.
The MoMo Nyabo promotion is part of a series of offers the telecom company has launched in recent times to reward customers including bonus on data bundle purchase via MTN Mobile Money and a few days ago, MTN slashed mobile money sending rates by more than half.
“This will be a double win for our customers. First of all, they will be sending money at half price. While doing that, they will be entered into a draw to win one of those exciting prizes. So in a way, all our customers will be winners”. Samuel Gitta, MTN Uganda’s Ag. GM Risk & Compliance said.
“We are continually evolving to make our customers’ lives better. We value and appreciate our customers and all that we are doing is just to give back to them for continuing to support us,” he added.
For customers to stand a chance to win one of the prizes, all they have to do is dial *165*1#. Customers will then automatically enter into a draw to win the exciting prizes.
Vivo Energy in joint venture with Kuku Foods to accelerate roll-out of KFC restaurants
By Our Reporter
Vivo Energy plc (Vivo Energy), the pan-African retailer and distributor of Shell and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants, has agreed to form a non-fuel joint venture to accelerate the roll-out of KFC restaurants in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. The 50:50 joint venture will manage and operate the restaurants in the three markets on behalf of Kuku Foods East Africa Holdings (Kuku Foods), who will remain the local KFC franchisee. Completion of this transaction is subject to standard legal agreements and regulatory and competition authority approval.
The restaurants, 22 in Kenya and 8 in Uganda, are located in shopping malls, city centre locations, and service stations. Kuku Foods plans to open its first KFC restaurant in Rwanda in 2019.
The 5 KFC restaurants operated by Kuku Foods Tanzania, the KFC franchisee in Tanzania, will not form part of the transaction.
The joint venture will enable a significant increase in the number of KFC restaurants in the portfolio in the coming years. It is envisaged that many of the new restaurants will be opened at Vivo Energy’s network of service stations across Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, which leverages Vivo Energy’s retail footprint, with more countries to be considered in the future, based on market opportunities.
Commenting on the transaction, Christian Chammas, CEO of Vivo Energy, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Kuku Foods to replicate the KFC joint venture model we pioneered in Botswana and Côte d’Ivoire. Kuku Foods shares our ambition to invest in order to grow the number of restaurants and give more African customers access to the internationally renowned KFC brand. This partnership further demonstrates our ambition to continue to offer more convenience to satisfy the evolving needs of our growing number of African customers.”
Derrick Van Houten, Group CEO of Kuku Foods and Principal Operator of the KFC franchises, added: “Having launched our first KFC in East Africa in 2011, we have successfully grown the business over the last eight years. We are delighted to announce this new partnership with Vivo Energy to continue this growth, bringing our world-renowned KFC products and experience to as many customers as possible.”
KFC Africa’s General Manager, Tarun Lal concluded: “We are delighted that KFC can leverage the joint venture entered into between Vivo Energy and Kuku Foods to continue to grow its network of KFC restaurants in Africa. We are confident that the KFC franchisee will continue to provide customers with a great KFC experience, driving improvements in customer
service and quality through its relationship with Vivo Energy.”
Rising Woman initiative returns for second edition
By Our Reporter
Monitor Publications Limited’s (MPL) flagship brand Daily Monitor in partnership with dfcu Bank’s Women in Business Program and Uganda Investment Authority(UIA) have launched the second edition of the Rising Woman initiative.
The Rising Woman initiative which was started last year under the theme ‘Taking your business ahead’ is meant to recognize, celebrate and promote a culture of mentorship among women in business in Uganda and targets Ugandan business women, Small scale investors, Entrepreneurs, Members of Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited (UWEAL), Members of Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA) and Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) members.
Speaking at the launch, dfcu Chief Executive Officer Mathias Katamba called the initiative a “…fundamental step on the path to creating a financially-enabling environment for female entrepreneurs.”
He went on to note that the bank has created programs and products which specifically address the financial needs of women across the country. “As a financial institution that believes in building thriving communities, dfcu embarked on a journey to creating an enabling environment for Small and Medium Women owned Enterprises starting in 2007, with the introduction of the Women in Business program. Our primary motivation is the fact that despite women making up over 52% of the population of Uganda, it is not reflected in the ratio of women who have access to financial services.”
“Through the program, we work with women in diverse ventures to turn business ideas into realities which in turn become vehicles for change in communities. With over 53 years of lending to SMEs, and at least 10 years running the WiB program, dfcu Bank understands the financial needs of women and goes ahead to provide tailor-made solutions for them,” Katamba added.
He also officially announced the call for business proposals through the bank’s official website which will begin the contention for the top 10 business ideas.
The proposal submission is already underway and will run up to 20th September 2019. The top 3 winners will walk away with Ugx 15 million, Ugx 10 million and Ugx 5 million respectively and the top 10 will take part in an all-expense study tour trip to Nairobi.
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