President Museveni has praised the National Social Security Fund-NSSF for the long term Housing Project called the Solana Lifestyle and Residences (Lubowa Housing Project) worth $400 million.
When completed, the Solana Lifestyle and Residences will be the largest project in East Africa, comprising 2,750 residences, that is apartments, townhouses, bungalows, and villas.
Speaking at the event, Museveni appreciated the NSSF Managing Director, Richard Byarugaba for being a good manager and investing in such a big project that will yield much profits in the near future.
“I am very happy with this project. This is a good initiative and I want to congratulate NSSF for this big investment,” Museveni said.
However, he said that Byarugaba is a good manager but a poor strategist.
“Byarugaba, you are a good manager but a poor strategist. I instruct you to visit Minister Kasaija for some lectures,” Museveni said.
He went ahead and encouraged Ugandans to get involved in economic agriculture, manufacturing, entertainment, and income accumulating services like boda boda and driving.
“NRM is struggling so much to get all Ugandans into a money economy. You must create wealth for yourself and your household, stop working for ekida kyonka (working for stomach satisfaction),” he said.
At the same event, Museveni attacked the Housing Finance Bank Managing Director Micheal Mugabi for failing to raise money for mortgages. “Why have you failed to provide cheap mortgages?” the President asked and tasked Mugabi to respond to the cause and teased him whether he does not have envy.
Responding to him, Mugabi looked shocked but later found what to speak.
“We are handling all issues concerning lower markets and enabling more Ugandans to join the business. And sir Mr. President I don’t have envy,” Mugabi responded.
Museveni also appreciated the tremendous work by the late Ivan Kyayonka, the former Board Chairman who ignited the project.
According to NSSF Managing Director, Richard Byarugaba, the project will help solve the problem of housing in the country.
“There are about 13 million people in urban centers in the country. Over 50% of Ugandans by 2050 will be in cities and above 35 million people in total yet housing is an integral part in developing our nation. This project will reshape the future of housing in this country since it will have a multiplier impact,” Byarugaba said.
He noted that in the first phase of the project, 73.3 million dollars has been spent while employing over 1500 people directly and 3200 people indirectly.
“We have invested close to $31 million on construction materials that have been sourced from local industries and have created over 1,500 direct jobs and 3,200 indirect jobs through construction of this project. These numbers will increase as we implement the next eight phases,” he said.
Byarugaba said the units are to be sold on a rent-payment model where one pays a small percentage of the total cost of the unit and starts living in it as he pays rent and on completion of the money, they officially own.