NSSA avails $20m agric loan facility

nssaBusiness Reporter —
The National Social Security Authority has availed a $20 million term loan facility to a local commercial bank aimed at enabling the sourcing of fertiliser raw materials and stocks from a foreign supplier.

This comes at a time when local fertiliser producers are struggling to stock up mainly due to shortages of foreign currency in the country. In a NSSA fourth quarter statement for 2016, board chairman Robin Vela said fertiliser raw materials and stocks have now been availed to local producers.

“In December 2016, NSSA provided a $20 million term loan facility to a local commercial bank, to enable it to source fertiliser raw materials and stocks from a foreign supplier.

“The fertiliser raw materials and stocks were then made available to local fertiliser producers, through a facility between the commercial bank and the producers,” said Mr Vela.

Through this intervention, NSSA was able to contribute to Government’s Command Agriculture Programme by enabling the production and supply of critical basal and top dressing fertilisers.

“It is the authority’s intention to continue pursuing such structured trade transactions, which generate positive investment returns for the investment portfolio, while also providing meaningful support for strategic national programs,” said Mr Vela.

Meanwhile Mr Vela added that NSSA, which facilitated the acquisition of 100 percent equity in Telecel International (which owns 60 percent of Telecel Zimbabwe) by ZARNet through a transfer of rights and buy-back agreement in February 2016, was in talks with the ZARNet over the transaction.

On November 30, 2016, Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services announced that ZARNet had completed the acquisition of 100 percent shareholding in Telecel International for $30 million.

This activated the February 2016 agreements between NSSA and ZARNet.

Mr Vela said the two parties are in advanced negotiations in relation to restructuring the transaction; wherein from a NSSA perspective it will culminate in an acceptable equity return and enhanced security arrangements, while the ZARNet perspective translates to a feasible and favourable financing structure.

“The effect of the new dispensation is that ZARNet will exercise the buy-back over a 3 year period on terms enshrined in a new agreement involving a number of related-parties to ZARNet,” said Mr Vela.

During the quarter under review NSSA carried out a skills audit to assess competencies for all the middle managers. The outcome of the skills audit resulted in the retrenchment of 13 middle managers.

Mr Vela said the authority is undergoing a restructuring exercise where it is identifying the skills and competencies needed to move the Authority forward. He said the restructuring will result in a new “NSSA” which is able to deliver an efficient service to its pensioners.

Article Source: The Herald