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NASSIT Chairman – dedication at Kenema shopping Plaza and NASSIT’s 10th Anniversary celebrations

NASSIT Chairman – dedication at Kenema shopping Plaza and NASSIT’s 10th Anniversary celebrations

STATEMENT BY THE CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE NATIONAL SOCIAL SECURITY AND INSURANCE TRUST (NASSIT) AT THE OFFICIAL DEDICATION OF THE KENEMA SHOPPING PLAZA AND DECLARATION THE NASSIT TENTH ANNIVERSARY IN KENEMA-FRIDAY 31STAUGUST 2012  (Photo: Chairman of NASSIT Board of Trustees, Mr Jacob S Kanu, speaking during the ceremony)

Mr. Chairman
Your Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma
Cabinet Ministers
Hon. Members of Parliament
The Chairman, Kambui Property Holdings Ltd
The Paramount Chief of Nongowa Chiefdom, Chief Amara Vangahun
Paramount Chiefs and Traditional Leaders
The Acting Mayor and Councilors of Kenema City Council
The Chairman and Councilors of Kenema District Council
Your Excellencies – Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps
Officers and Members of the Republic of Sierra Leone Ruling Forces
Religious Leaders
Members of the Fourth Estate
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

Let me take this singular honour and pleasure, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, Management and Staff of NASSIT to welcome you all to the official dedication of the Kenema shopping Plaza and to NASSIT’s 10th  Anniversary celebrations.

As you all know, NASSIT was born (established) ten years ago in 2002 with a clear mandate to administer Sierra Leone’s pension scheme.  NASSIT collects contributions from employers and employees, invests these funds in viable and profitable projects and provide retirement and other benefits to meet the contingency needs to workers and their dependants throughout the Republic.  It is partly to fulfill this sacred mission that the Kenema shopping Plaza is being launched today.

Other NASSIT projects in the pipe line include the shopping Plazas in Bo and Makeni, the Goderich Sea View Complex in Freetown.  The affordable Housing estates in Kenema, Makeni, Bo and Waterloo, the Bintumani Conference Center in Freetown, the Mammy Yoko/Radisson Blu Hotel, the Cape Sierra Hilton Hotel and the Kimbima Hotel in Freetown.  Furthermore, we have acquired extensive plots of land throughout the country for our continued investment in real estate.

Mr. Chairman one may pause for a moment to ask oneself the question of how surprisingly unprecedented, and pleasant, all of this is happening across the Country.  It is not by chance.  It is in line with the President’s strides in transforming this Country through the agenda for change.  It is also a clear manifestation of his commitment and determination to rebrand this nation and uplift the standard of living of the masses.  We recall the mad rush and the feeling sometimes of trepidation that accompany those un-announced inspection visits to these projects when some unusual silence appears to creep in.  We thank H.E. profusely for the encouragement NASSIT has received from him and from his high office.

The Kenema Shopping Plaza

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;

The building we are commissioning today is the product of a joint Venture between NASSIT and the Kenema City Council.  The Venture is known as the Kambui Property Holding Ltd in which NASSIT holds 80% of the Share Capital of the Company and Kenema City Council holds 20%.  The Company’s main objective is to invest in real estate which will enhance the quality of services in the City and contribute to trade and Commercial activities in the Kenema District.  This modern shopping center is therefore the first project of the center is therefore the first project of the Kambui Property Holding’s Company.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the complex you are about to view, consists of 49 Double Shops, 8 Smaller shops, 4 Restaurants, 4 Mini Markets, Internal car parking lots, and Extensive Sanitation facilities

The Complex is the largest of its kind in this Country. With the massive infrastructural development currently taking place in the whole Country, which has now been turned into a National works yard,  this plaza will definitely enhance trade flows not only within Sierra Leone but even between Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.  Job opportunities will certainly be created for both men and women residing in this part of the country and beyond.

Director General of NASSIT, Sam Bangura

As far as the Management of the Complex is concerned, there will be a temporary facilities management team provided by NASSIT Management which will operate the facility on a rental fee and lease basis. This temporary Management will phase away as we enter into a Management contract with competent private firms to continue to manage, this and other NASSIT facilities on a more permanent basis.

Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Guests, this modern shopping Plaza is an investment in which huge sums of money have been expended into its construction.  Consequently both parties, the Kenema City Council and NASSIT, expect favorable returns on the investment.  Therefore, the allocation process of the shops and the other facilities that I have mentioned will be fair, transparent and equitable and will be geared towards generating revenues to repay the huge loans incurred by the joint Venture.  A set of criteria has already been developed.  This arrangement may disappoint a few people who will not meet with the standards set but these people should understand that the criteria is being strictly applied in the financial interest of the joint venture and of Sierra Leone Ltd.  With the outbreak and acceleration of the cholera epidemic in Sierra Leone, the criteria will take account of preventive measures which will ensure cleanliness of the environment and Health and Sanitation in general.  The application forms containing the criteria are already available at the NASSIT Regional Office in Kenema and Bo and at NASSIT Headquarters in Freetown.

Members of the audience

Let me at this juncture, Your Excellency pay homage to the relentless cooperation and to the hard work and devotion demonstrated by all those who contributed in making this project a success.  Late Chief Brima Kargbo was very passionate about this project.  The chief died suddenly on Monday 25th June before he could realize his dreams of seeing today’s opening ceremony.  May his soul rest in perfect peace.

The Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, a pioneering stalwart to this project.  Mr. J.B. Dauda gave us valuable advice and encouragement during the designing and implementation of this project.  The Resident Minister East and Our Chairman maintained that this shopping mall represents the best in Sierra Leone, an eye opener and a trigger for further development programmes in the Eastern Region.  Mr. William Juana Smith had previously obtained His Excellency’s authority to travel to Italy today on some important function which he had to cancel because of this all important occasion.  The Acting Mayor of the Kenema City Council Mrs Shaka, in her capacity as a Councilor and Board Member of Kambui Property Holdings attended every meeting from inception to the realization of this project.  The Paramount Chief of Nongowa Chiefdom Chief Amara Vangahun gave us a lot of inspiration.  The Land owners – the Kai Samba and the Ngobulambu Member of the Board of Trustees of NASSIT deserve a special commendation for their untiring effort towards the completion of this venture.  They insisted that the Plaza, though still bearing a few imperfections, must be opened now.  The Management and Staff of NASSIT especially the Director General, Mr. Sam Bangura and his Deputies and Directors have given all their time and energies to ensure a successful opening.

(l-r) NASSIT Director General, Sam Bangura and Chairman Jacob Kanu

Finally, Mr. Chairman, the Consultants of this Project, starting from The Architect Mr. Gibril Koroma of TEDA Consulting Services, the Structural Engineers, the Quantity Surveyors the Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, Mackenzie Studd Ltd, the Contractors oversees Trading and Consulting company and several Sub-Contractors, the Clerk of Works and a number of other professionals; all these have contributed immensely in ensuring that we have an ultra-modern shopping plaza and a beautiful work of art to kick off the 10th Anniversary celebrations of NASSIT.

I thank you.


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