By Mark Kawalya
Through its investments in MTN Uganda, Uganda’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has earned a record Shs31.5 billion in dividends for the period ending December 31, 2022. So far this is the single largest dividend that the fund has earned in addition to Shs9.32billion that NSSF earned from MTN last year.
In December 2021, NSSF Uganda invested Shs360 billion into MTN Uganda for the acquisition of 1.98 billion shares in response to the telecom’s Initial Public Offer (IPO) that was held on December 2021. NSSF Uganda is East Africa’s largest national savings fund according to its value.
The Shs31.5 billion NSSF Uganda earned follows the permitted payment of Shs5.5 for each ordinary share for the period ended 31 December 2022 that Shareholders approved during the MTN Uganda Annual meeting that was held on May 19, 2023.
NSSF Uganda’s 1.98billion share ownership in the telecom MTN Uganda makes it the second largest shareholder in the telecom with 8.84% shareholding. Ag. Managing Director Patrick Ayota, noted that the significant earnings were testaments to the funds decision to invest in MTN Uganda in tandem with the telecom’s performance track record and demonstrated market leadership.
He said, “As a market leader in the telecom and fintech sector, MTN Uganda plays a key role in the development of the Eco-system in the country and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The company has high margins which have contributed to attractive returns on invested capital, and a solid management team that has delivered consistent and sustainable growth over the years.”
MTN Uganda holds 14.6% of the fund’s total equities portfolio making it the largest single investment that NSSF Uganda has made. Ayota aligned the investment in MTN with the fund’s diversification strategy, which is in line with NSSF’s corporate strategy of growing the fund to Shs20 trillion by 2025.
Sylvia Mulinge, MTN’s Chief Executive Officer making remarks during the handover of a dummy cheque to NSSF’s headquarters at Workers House said “NSSF Uganda is a significant shareholder representing many Ugandans who have a stake in the Fund, and we are glad to return value to the Fund members in line with our Ambition 2025 key priorities of creating shared value for all our stakeholders.”