Business man Lulinda asks government to grant SMEs a stimulus package

By Daudi Zirimala

The government has been urged to give stimulus packages to private sector to enable them to recover from the impact of COVID-19 Pandemic.

Fabrice Lulinda a businessman from Entebbe recommends that the government urgently considers granting an economic stimulus package to Small and Medium Enterprises, on grounds that they are critical in reviving the current economic slowdown occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking to our Reporter, Lulinda noted that easing the lock down should be done simultaneously with stimulus packages for businesses to reduce on the number of unemployed people post covid-19.

He has applauded government for putting in place stringent measures fight against COVID-19 and hopes that after the pandemic Ugandans will be able to cope up with the situation in terms of running the businesses.

“Government cannot distribute food to every citizens but the private sector and individuals should be allowed to do charity to supplement government efforts of distribute food to so called vulnerable Ugandans,” adds Fabrice Lulinda

New Pension company pledges to focus on SMEs

By Deo Wasswa
The Africa’s leading Pension administrator, Enewealth Financial Services Limited has expanded its operations to Uganda after being licensed by Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA).

Enwealth, Currently Manages Pension assets worth over Ush2 trillion and servicing over 120 clients within the region. Over the last 8 years, Enwealth has been providing innovative products and services through which more than 40,000 people in 12 countries in Africa have been impacted.

Speaking during the launch at Sheraton hotel-Kampala. Nelson Kuria, the Enwealth board chair, they joined Uganda after realizing that the pension industry in Uganda is growing steadily under as strong regulatory regime. ‘’ We have keenly observed the pension industry in Uganda growing steadily under a strong regulatory regime, we are therefore excited to introduce innovative, ICT driven retirement products and services in Uganda such as post retirement healthcare funds for a dignified retirement life, Diaspora and expatriates fund, Enwealth Person pension scheme among others’’, said Nelson.

The firm joins nine other pension administrators that are currently licensed by URBRA as a result of the ongoing reform agenda to liberalize the sector.

According to URBRA, the pension sector covers only about two million of Uganda’s population which is less than 10 percent of the population. The pension sector is currently contributing more than nine percent to the country’s GDP, and is projected to contribute a higher share in the near future. According to the regulator the sector’s portfolio is now growing with NSSF recording shs9 trillion in much 2018 from ush3 trillion at inception and other schemes are holding nearly ush1.6 trillion.

At the same event, Simon Wafuba, the Enwealth CEO, revealed that Enwealth’s key target market in Uganda will be the small and medium enterprises which are currently under served. The SMEs employ over 2.5 million people. But due to low income levels and luck of access to information, majority of them do not have adequate savings fir their retirement. Enwealth has tailor-made products for this market as well as financial literacy programs to encourage the population to save and secure their financial security in interment.

‘’We see a very vibrant, robust and well regulated sector with increased coverage and asset portfolio,. With more players joining the market, we will see products suited for the markets that have not had access to retirement benefits before. We are also adopting to modern supervisory tools to ensure that people’s savings are secured, Said Mr. Martin Nsubuga, the CEO Uganda retirement benefits regulatory authority(URBRA).

Notably, the 2016 World Bank development indicators report noted that Ugandans save around five percent of their monthly earnings. This was the lowest record in comparison to other countries in the east Africa whose records stood at 23 percent for Kenya, 13 percent for Tanzania and 18 percent for Rwanda.

Additionally, Enwealth will provide well researched information on issues affecting financial services, social security and employee benefits in Uganda through their regular research based report and debate dubbed Enwealth conversations.

With the expansion to Uganda, Enwealth joins a number of other financial services sector players including banks and insurance companies seeking to establish solid presence across all the markets in East Africa.