Namibia
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GIPF local investment hits N$75 billion

The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF)’s investment in the domestic economy has hit the N$75-billion mark, says outgoing chief executive officer David Nuyoma.

He says this constitutes close to 50% of the fund’s assets, which are over N$150 billion.

Speaking to Desert Radio yesterday, Nuyoma said the fund has targeted different sectors, including renewable energy, agriculture, housing and property development, to stimulate the domestic economy.

“We have made significant progress in making sure we invest in the economy. While the law says not only us but all the other pension funds should invest at least 40% of their money locally, we have actually done even better and achieved 50% investment in the domestic economy,” Nuyoma said.

He said the investments in the energy sector are meant to boost the country’s energy production.

“We had to look at the energy sector and we have targeted renewable energy. And this will go a long way in contributing to this important sector. Some of our neighbours are facing load-shedding and we are not. This could also be as a result of such types of investments,” he said.

Nuyoma, who will be leaving the fund in a week’s time, told Desert Radio that he is leaving the fund somewhat a satisfied man.

“It’s been a long 10 years and I feel I have done my part to put the fund where it is. When I first came we had our own challenges with reputation, but we did very well to give the fund a different image and rebranded [it]. We have tremendously grown our worth to about N$157 billion, which is a good achievement. I also really appreciate the opportunity given by our board members,” Nuyoma said.

He said he is also happy leaving the fund after it has accomplished an opportunity to provide housing for its members.

“We have been investing in the housing space since 2014, with the project that we launched at Osona Village. There was really nothing, but right now there are over 2 000 houses and growing. I am also happy that we have managed to find a solution to the pension-backed housing loan scheme. If I manage to sign this before I leave in a week, I will be happy. But in any way, I am very happy that we have managed to accomplish this.

“We wanted to make sure that most of our members, including those that are not in the metropolitan areas also benefit, but we had to find ways of navigating around the legislation, because some areas were not catered for. I am glad this will now happen.We had to engage with the employers of our members of whom the majority is government and make sure that we find a way forward,” he said.

He said the fund is now on a sound footing and has potential to continue on that trajectory.

WHERE TO FROM NOW

Nuyoma said he will spend most of his time away from the fund in the financial sector where he has built a strong footprint.

“My roots are definitely in the financial sector where I have built a footprint in the past couple of years. So, I will definitely be in this sector although I will do this at a rather low profile. I am already a board member in one of the largest companies in the sector. However, we meet and live politics everyday, so I also believe we can never say never in this world,” he said in an apparent reference to his future away from the fund.