LAPF Pension Fund is ‘celebrating’ after a long wait. The Fund confirms that its investment in real estate in Dodoma has brought prosperity after the government decided to shift from Dar es Salaam.
The investment involving a block valued at 45bn/- which was designed to house LAPF headquarters is now fully rented and occupied by worthy clients including government ministries and major business organisations and companies.
In an interview, LAPF Marketing Communication and Customers Manager, Mr James Mlowe told the ‘Daily News’ that the whole building is at the moment fully occupied. Mr Mlowe said even before President John Magufuli announced that the government would shift from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma, in July 2016, LAPF Pension Fund was in a healthy position of investments.
The Fund has several investments whose aim is to ensure there is enough money to facilitate handsome payments to members when it comes to retirement benefits while remaining the leading social security fund in the country, added Mr Mlowe.
He mentioned the clients who signed rental contracts with LAPF Ministry of State, President’s Office Union matters and Environment, the Ministry of Labour and Employment, and also the Ministry of Information, Arts and Sports. Mr Mlowe also mentioned the Ministry of Lands and Urban Development and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation.
Also, there are governmental agencies and organisations which include Energy and Water Utility Regulatory Organisation (EWURA), Contractor Registration Board-(CRB) and the office of Attorney General (AG).
Others are Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) and Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) plus LAPF itself. Mr Mlowe says some business entities which rented at LAPF Headquarter Building include CRDB Bank Ltd and NMB Bank to operate commercial bank activities within the premises, together with Dar es Salaam Community Bank (DCB) and Tanzania Postal Bank (TPB).
The building has enough space for office use, for banking activities, shopping malls and there is an ultra-modern conference room, all of which give assurance that this building promises to be a future business hub. LAPF has made extra efforts to ensure the premises is easily accessed by people of all walks of life.
LAPF also gave support to Dodoma Municipality, an aid to construct feeder road to connect the area with tarmac road built by SUMA JKT at a value of Tshs 126.9m/- which will connect LAPF Building and Dodoma/ Viwandani Highway Road to Dar Road adjacent to Dodoma main bus stand.
LAPF Pension Fund is expecting to start implementing its new investment site for ultra modern Shopping Mall at Iyumbu Area, adjacent to the University of Dodoma (UDOM) within this fiscal year 2016/17 because investment indicators give assurance to LAPF Pension Fund to make another investment in Dodoma, added Mr Mlowe.
Also, LAPF will implement other major investment in Arusha, be rented for offices and another project will be at Mhonde Tea Project in Lushoto Tanga. All these investments will be implemented together with another investment for Nguru Ranch in Morogoro.
Mkonde Tea Project in Lushoto and Nguru Ranch in Morogoro will target to widen chances for sustainable employment opportunity to youth in the country, whereby more than 5,000 chances of employment will be created by LAPF, says Mr Mlowe.
Apart from all these positive indicators realised by LAPF Pension Fund, there are also some challenges. Among them are the slim investment opportunities resulting from laws and regulations which govern social security funds in the country.
Mr Mlowe mentioned ratio factor as the foremost limitation which limit the fund not excel much wider in investment projects. The regulation needs the fund to obey some parameters during investment, saying the ratio should tally between amount invested and the payback rate, so that members’ contributions remain safe and stable, clarifies Mr Mlowe.
Another challenge is how to register new membership whereby more freedom was been given to new employees to join any social security fund they prefer according to their own choice.
Mr Mlowe says LAPF strategy is to pay better benefits as early as possible to its members so as to convince other new comer to join the fund. According to last year financial report for the year 2014/15 shows positive achievements towards registering new membership due to this strategy.
Besides these challenges, Mr Mlowe affirmed that LAPF Pension Fund is stable and able to pay its beneficiaries for eighty years to come from its current investment, added Mr Mlowe. He further noted that, the core objective of LAPF is to pay better benefits to its members than any other social security fund and that is what LAPF targets to, added Mr Mlowe.
He further said, prior to making any investment, critical analysis study is done by associating highly qualified and integrity personnel before making decision to invest.
According to LAPF Financial Report for the year 2014/15 the fund declared to be stable and consistent. The report says, “As the Fund has continued to record successful business operations for the year 2014/15, we are very positive about the future of the fund.
This is manifested by the increases in membership and contribution; expansion of the investments portfolio and the growth in the net assets base” said the report.
Also, during the year 2015/16 LAPF Pension Fund had generated the income of about Tshs 70bls after investing total sum of Tshs One Trilion, clarified Mr Mlowe. The achievement was attained just one year after five phase government under leadership of President Dr John Pombe Magufuli.
To date LAPF owns more than five building sites in Tanzania which includes thirty storey building phase one and two located at Makumbusho Area in Dar es Salaam and Ultra modern Commercial building in Mwanza City which is joint venture between LAPF and Mwanza City.
Also, LAPF has invested at the University of Dodoma at the college of Health Sciences plus new LAPF new headquarters building in Dodoma. All these huge investments in buildings give assurance to LAPF Pension Fund to remain stable financially for 80 years to come and be able to pay its members better benefits.
LAPF Pension Fund will hold its all stakeholders meeting in Arusha during March 9th and 10th to discuss more strategies for investment in future. Among the agenda of this meeting will be how to create investments that will continue to give LAPF Pension Fund assurance of making sustainable employment opportunity in Tanzania.