Deputy Director General of the National Social Security Insurance Trust (NASSIT) has said the future of Sierra Leone’s economy is bright with rapid developmental programmes taking place all over the country almost on a daily basis.
Amara Omar Kuyateh was speaking at the Invest Sierra Leone 2016 conference in London recently organized by renowned legal group Herbert Smith Freehills which is in partnership with the Government of Sierra Leone, providing them with legal assistance on a pro bono basis to help build its capacity to manage inward investment into Sierra Leone.
Kuyateh showcased his organisation’s investment potentials not only within Sierra Leone but that which is also attracting Diaspora investment – and believes resilient growth can be achieved through diversifying our economy.
“The National Social Security Insurance Trust (NASSIT) has a great role to play in helping to bring about resilient growth. NASSIT is the only formal pension scheme in Sierra Leone. The Trust currently holds equity in 10 domestic companies and an off-shore investment in Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI). This makes NASSIT arguably the largest institutional investor in Sierra Leone,” Kuyateh said.
According to the NASSIT boss, for the past sixteen months of his stay in Sierra Leone, he has seen tremendous development in Sierra Leone almost on a daily basis with so many opportunities to grab.
Kuyateh said NASSIT’s investment portfolio is currently heavily concentrated in the Financial Services, Hospitality and Commercial Real Estate sectors. NASSIT currently owns almost all of the Radisson Blu Hotel, the only 5 Star Hotel in Sierra Leone. It owns the Golden Tulip Hotel and it has a minority stake in the Hilton Cape Sierra Hotel which will be opened in the first quarter of 2017.
In the Financial Services sector, he said, NASSIT owns the only Mortgage Finance Company in Sierra Leone, HFC Mortgage & Savings (SL) Ltd. NASSIT also hold a minority stake in the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, Rokel Commercial Bank and Standard Chartered Bank (SL) Ltd -all these are classic examples of investing for impact.
He however said NASSIT do not believe that any Social Security system should own one hundred percent of any business. As a result we will be open to investors that will like to participate in our investments in Radisson, Golden Tulip, HFC and our Real Estate Investments.
“The good news is that the IMF has predicted that the Sierra Leone economy will grow by 5.3% in 2016, making it still one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. The NASSIT investment portfolio is currently heavily concentrated in the Financial Services, Hospitality and Commercial Real Estate sectors,” said Kuyateh.
Earlier, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Coorperation Dr. Samura Kamara said a year after Ebola, Sierra Leone is going through economic transformation after the country’s business activities were brought to a standstill.
He said his country’s Post-Ebola priorities are focused on health, education, infrastructure and the private sector with tourism currently being boosted.
British MP David Lammy, who chaired the occasion, described Sierra Leone as a fantastic country which is fastly beginning to recover economically after Ebola.
Oluyemi Robin Coker, Chairman of the Sierra Leone Investment and Promotion Export Agency(SLIEPA), who deputized the Minister of Trade Pat Sowe, thanked the organizers of the event while looking forward to see more export and investment into Sierra Leone.
There were other speakers including foreign investors in Sierra Leone who shared their experiences on the investment climate in Sierra Leone Invest Sierra Leone is the only annual forum dedicated to encouraging investment into Sierra Leone.
It is collaboration between Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and Freetown insight magazine, and endorsed by the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA).
It identifies innovative approaches to investment in Sierra Leone and creates opportunities for in-depth discussion with government ministers, CEOs, financiers and the country’s most successful business and investment pioneers.
Sorie Sudan Sesay, London