The Sh2 billion Egerton University Pension Scheme landmark project is set to give Nakuru Town a new look.
The seven-storey multi-billion-shilling complex, which combines both office and shopping space, is coming at time when Nakuru town is rushing against time to attain the city status in the next one year.
At least 50 per cent of the space has been snapped up by the investors ahead of the grand opening in March this year.
The scheme, whose net worth is about Sh10.6 billion, has been increasing its value by Sh1billion and its managers are optimistic that in the next six months, about 80 per cent of the space will be occupied. The scheme projects that once the complex is fully occupied it will rake in about Sh200 million per year.
The building which sits on a three-acre piece of land on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway, is expected to change the face of Nakuru’s industrial area.
The construction work started in March 2018 and in less than two months, it will be ready for occupation.
A trustee in the scheme Prof Symon Mahugu said upon completion, the complex will introduce modern offices in the town.
Speaking to the media at the site on Friday during the scheme Annual General Meeting, Prof Mahugu said the scheme used the members’ investment funds to construct the ultra-modern building.
“We did not borrow money from the bank, the entire building is constructed through the monthly contribution of members,” said Prof Mahugu.
According to the latest report by the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) the scheme which is valued at Sh1.6 billion is regarded as one of the best managed schemes in Kenya.
Apart from this complex, the scheme also owns Unga House in Westlands, Nairobi, which generates about Sh70 million annually.
The scheme also owns prime land in Nakuru’s Industrial area, Mavoko in Machakos County and Nairobi which are all valued at about Sh3 billion.
“We are planning to grow scheme net worth to Sh20 billion in the next 10 years and we are optimistic of archiving the target,” said Prof Mahugu.
He revealed that the scheme intends to sell the complex space to the public and investors and already 50 per cent of the space has been taken.
“The aim of this massive investment is to generate money for our members upon retirement. We don’t want our members to retire and go home empty-handed,” he said.
The scheme has 2,500 active members and 400 dormant ones. In the current financial year, about 72 members who retired, perished in various accidents or through natural attrition were compensated about Sh520 million.
According to Prof Mahugu, the project will be completed in the first quarter of this year. The trustee also said the building has about 440 parking spaces.
The tower will have spaces for office space, malls, eateries, banks, coffee shops among others.
The scheme attracts its membership from Kisii University, Chuka University, Laikipia University and Egerton University.
The scheme which started with a savings of about Sh100,000 was started in 1966 and is now one of the richest in Kenya.
One of the challenges facing the scheme is non remittances of members’ monthly contributions by the respective sponsors.
“Currently the universities owe the scheme about Sh800 million and we hope to recover the money in the next five years as the universities have started clearing their debt,” said Prof Mahugu.
The monthly contributions by members from the sponsors is supposed to be Sh80 million but the scheme receives half of the money.
The government directive to freeze employment has also affected the scheme as the memberships is not growing.