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MURBS Prepares Members for Retirement and Launches Biometric Registration

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“Financial planning leads to financial freedom. A financial plan is very important for every successful worker. Some of us work very hard, but we don’t find time to plan for the money we get. You have to plan for your money to ensure that you have a rest and peace of mind. You should not spend more than what you earn,” highlighted Mr. Joseph Njuguna, the Manager of Scheme Operations at Octagon Africa, a Pension Consultancy firm.

Mr. Njuguna emphasized the importance of a financial plan in the course of preparing for retirement during the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) Sensitization Seminar held on Tuesday 26th April 2016 at Makerere University.

“We all need to do something, save as much as you can in the pension scheme. To continue with the same standards of living before and after your retirement, you must plan now. After retirement, have a residential home and let other assets you have been working for work for you,” Mr. Njuguna emphasized.

Focusing on the theme, Members actively involved in securing their retirement, which was derived from the Board’s strategy to boost accountability and client focus, Members listened to insightful presentations focused on securing a proper retirement.

Some members of the MURBS Board, Middle-front is the Chairperson Hajati Fatumah Nakatudde, extreme right is Dr. John Kitayimbwa the Board Secretary.

During the Sensitization Seminar, participants were equipped with valuable knowledge and tips on financial planning, saving now for retirement, investment, the relevance of tracking expenditure, ensuring a proper diet as well as living a healthy life to avoid diseases that would affect them after their retirement. The Members were also enlightened on the MURBS Investment Policy Statement, the current Investment climate and its implication for the MURBS fund.

“I encourage members to undertake investments, most especially, in fixed assets like land, infrastructure, and equipment. These assets are not likely to be converted easily into cash. And their future economic benefit is probable to flow into the entity, whose cost can be measured reliably,” said Mr. Dennis Mugalya, who is an Investment Manager with PineBridge Investments E.A Ltd,  and, also, the Chairman of the Investment Management Association of Uganda.

Focusing on the investment climate, Mr. Mugalya revealed that where one invests his/her money, will determine the amount of return to be yielded. He advised members to consider equity investment. This involves buying and holding shares of stock on a stock market in anticipation of income from dividends and capital gains, as the value of the stock rises. He also encouraged members to invest in treasury bills and bonds.

 “Investment always comes with risks, including the interest rate. In investment, we have a number of risks. The more risk you take, the more return you expect. Risk is not losing your money, but it is because your return is volatile,” said Mr. Mugalya.

Dr. Paul Kasenene, a qualified Medical Doctor, Nutrition Educator, and a Member of the Technical Working Group of Non Communicable Diseases in the Ministry of Health and Managing Director of Wellcare Health & Wellness Clinic Kampala sensitised members on how to live healthy and prevent diseases that would affect them before and after their retirement.

“To enjoy any aspect of your life, you have to be alive and healthy. Despite more access to information and more advances in research and technology, people are actually getting unhealthier than before,” said Dr. Kasenene.Dr. Paul Kasenene

Dr. Kasenene mentioned that a person’s health is determined by the choices they make every day. “What we do daily either helps us to fight or feed the diseases. Some of us may already have health problems, but the good news is that most of those problems can be slowed, reversed or even stopped. No matter what kind of life you have lived, ill-health is reversible. The solution lies not with doctors, but with you making the right choices in your life,” he said.

He discouraged the habit of going for medical checkups only when people feel sick. He informed participants that such habits have complicated treating diseases like cancer which have no immediate signs and symptoms. He urged members to frequently go for medical tests, eat health diets, take plenty of water and do physical exercises. He appealed to participants to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. He advised members to focus on the cause of the problem in order to avoid it, than treating the problem or its symptoms.

During the Seminar, the Chairperson of MURBS, Hajati Fatumah Nakatudde, launched a web-based Member Biometric Registration System that will be used to register Scheme members in real time. This was aimed at further streamlining the benefits administration process and improve client self service. . The system will biometrically recognise and verify registered members and avail them with information through the Scheme servers. The members will be able to access information about their benefits from anywhere electronically.

A team of developers from Zedek Pro demonstrated the working mechanism of the Member Biometric Registration System and how the registration can be done in real time. According to the Principal Pension Officer, Ms. Susan Khaitsa, “the pilot registration is planned to commence in May 2016 and, in order to speed up the registration process, Members will be required to pre-fill two forms, that is, the Registration Form 0516A and the Dependants and Nominees (Beneficiary) Form 0516B. The forms will be circulated to Members online.”(The forms can be accessed from the links below)

The Secretary, Board of Trustees, Dr. John Kitayimbwa, shared key updates on the progress of the Scheme since last year. “One of the key updates I should bring to your notice is that, the agreements we had with the Service Providers were expiring in November last year [2015]. We extended their contracts to 31st January 2016 so that we comprehensively review the performance and our agreements with them,” he said.

Dr. Kitayimbwa introduced the new Scheme Service Providers to the Members. Stanbic Bank was appointed the new Scheme Custodian, whose role is to receive and keep in safe hands the funds, title deeds, securities and income accruing to the Scheme; PineBridge Investments Ltd retained its role of Fund Manager and GenAfrica Asset Managers Ltd was appointed Fund Manager – the two investors assist the Board of Trustees to make a prudent investment policy, invest the fund subject to the investment policy of the Scheme and manage the Scheme funds; Octagon Uganda Ltd, a Pension Consultancy firm, was appointed as the Scheme Administrator to handle mainly the Accounting and Benefits Administration.

Some of the members of MURBS who attended the training in Main Hall.

MURBS was established by Makerere University Council under an irrevocable trust to provide pensions and other benefits for University employees who are admitted to membership under the provision of the Trust Deed and Scheme Rules. On 23rd April 2010, Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme was registered as a corporate body under the Trustees Incorporation Act, CAP 165, under certificate T. 37561, C.I. NO.670.  Following the establishment of the Uganda Retirement Benefits and Regulatory Authority (URBRA) Act of 2011, MURBS was licensed as a Retirement Benefits Scheme under the new Act and holds license number RBS 0005

MURBS is a Defined Contribution Scheme where both the employees and the employer contribute a percentage of the employees’ monthly salary.

To be entitled to join this Scheme, an individual must be aged at least 18 years but not more than 50 years old and should be appointed under permanent terms of service at Makerere University. All persons who were in University Service by 31st March 2009 were deemed to have joined the Scheme. Persons who were appointed in University service after 31st March 2009 and to-date are enrolled into the Scheme through the due procedures.

Article and Photos by: Mak Public Relations Office

 

 

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Mak Commissions CoVAB@50 Celebrations, Awards Certificates

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The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (4th L), DVCAA-Dr. Umar Kakumba (5th L) and Principal CoVAB-Prof. J.D. Kabasa (3rd L) with L-R: Mr. Byakatonda Patrick, Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah, Mr. Felix Okello, the Mace bearer and Dr. Samuel Majalija at the CoVAB@50 Celebrations Commissioning, 17th June 2021, Nakyesasa-Namulonge.

The College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB) on Thursday 17th June, 2021 commenced celebrations to mark 50 Years of Veterinary Higher Education, Science, Technology, Innovation and Services (HESTIS) in Uganda. The blended event held at the Industrial Livestock Research, Incubation and Skilling (ILRIS) Center at Nakyesasa, Namulonge as well as online was presided over by the Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma and First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports (MoES), Hon. Janet Museveni both represented by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.

The event, held as part of Makerere University Centenary Celebrations (1922-2022) was a moment of celebration for 1,930 skilled livestock agribusiness entrepreneurs who were awarded certificates in recognition of completion of their respective courses. Owing to the strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) instituted by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to curb the spread of COVID-19, the students from Incubation Hubs in Atiak, Butaleja, Mubende, Nakyesasa, Sheema and Wakiso were awarded their certificates virtually.

In her remarks read by Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Hon. Janet Museveni thanked Makerere University for supporting grassroots level development through groundbreaking innovations under the Africa Institute for Strategic Services and Development-Skills for Production Enterprise Development and Accreditation (AFRISA-SPEDA) model.

The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (L), Academic Registrar-Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah (C) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa stand for the anthems.
The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (L), Academic Registrar-Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah (C) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa stand for the anthems.

“I am extremely pleased that Makerere University, through those innovative approaches, has developed and launched the alternative approach to building human capital and transferring knowledge to enterprises in communities.

“I would like to encourage all those involved in skills development to adopt methodologies that transform those trainees that go through these programs in ways that enable them also transform the societies they live in” read the Minister’s remarks.

She further noted that commissioning of the CoVAB@50 celebrations was both timely and rewarding. “The commissioning of the college innovations indeed has made meaning. This is a true path to growth of an Academic and Development College of the University, and we congratulate you again.”

Addressing the congregation as Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe congratulated CoVAB alumna and incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MoSTI) under the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero upon her recent appointment. “We thank His Excellency the President for identifying you. Science is in good hands.”

Awardees from the Mubende Incubation Hub raise their caps after virtually receiving their certificates in the blended ceremony on 17th June 2021. Photo credit: Kabaruli Twekambe/Team BOBOMAK
Awardees from the Mubende Incubation Hub raise their caps after virtually receiving their certificates in the blended ceremony on 17th June 2021. Photo credit: Kabaruli Twekambe/Team BOBOMAK

Prof. Nawangwe urged Dr. Musenero to address the structures of managing research and innovation in Uganda, “including the role of the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and the apparent need to establish a Research Council for Uganda.”

In the same breath he thanked the outgoing and pioneer Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Hon. Dr. Elioda Tumuwesigye, for his role in ensuring that the ministry is empowered to carry out its mandate.

The Chancellor congratulated CoVAB upon training the bulk of Veterinary Doctors in Uganda over the last 50 years and more recently, Laboratory Technologists at the highest level. He recognised Makerere University‘s obligation to contribute to the economic self-determination of Uganda and thanked CoVAB for conducting research that addresses hindrances to national development, especially in the livestock industry.

“The anti-tick vaccine is one of such innovations which will solve the huge problem of tick-borne diseases that have caused enormous losses to our farmers. There are many other problems on which the college is researching and we thank you for the enthusiasm” he added.

Incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation in the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero addresses the congregation.
Incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation in the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero addresses the congregation.

The Chancellor commended CoVAB for being the vanguard of transformation of the grassroots communities through the SPEDA model. “I urge Government to fund this important initiative so that it can more meaningfully contribute to solving the big problem of youth unemployment.”

In her remarks, Dr. Monica Musenero commended the Principal, CoVAB, Prof. John David Kabasa for fulfilling the College’s dream of enabling the masses who drop out of the education value chain as well as those who complete education but have no skills for livelihood, to attain certification in agribusiness entrepreneurship.

“Many people attain academic success and write papers, publish and they become professors but without demonstrable impact on their nation. You have shown by the thousands that you have touched nationwide that indeed you are a professor of national transformation. Congratulations,” remarked Dr. Musenero.

She therefore congratulated the teams at CoVAB and AFRISA upon successfully conceiving and executing a model that is non-traditional, informal, not easily understood and not documented in any textbooks.

The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (R) receives graduation books of the cohorts from Director DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick (C) and Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES-Madam Elizabeth Bateme (L).
The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (R) receives graduation books of the cohorts from Director DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick (C) and Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES-Madam Elizabeth Bateme (L).

As Minister, Dr. Musenero noted that witnessing thousands of individuals from across the country whose skills had been honed through a university programme receiving certificates gave her a lot of hope and material to embark on her tenure with. “I will be looking forward to harnessing these resources as we initiate work on the next leg of Science, Technology and Innovation in the country under the President’s Office.”

The invitation to the Principal, CoVAB to present students for the award of the ordinary diplomas, ordinary certificates and artisan certificates was given by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba. He congratulated the awardees upon successfully completing their respective courses and graduating with evidence on an enterprise.

Prof. Kabasa clarified that the approach used to train the day’s awardees was not simply a vocational skilling. “The combination of action research with knowledge transfer, skilling, plus assessment and accreditation processes done by organs like the DIT (Directorate of Industrial Training, MoES) has given us this result, for the University to provide true leadership and transformation of the community.”

Present at the celebrations were the Director, DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick and the Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES Madam Elizabeth Bateme who have worked through the Academic-Community-Public-Private-Partnership model to ensure that students graduate as entrepreneurs with micro enterprises.

The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (C), flanked by DVCAA-Dr. Umar Kakumba (R) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa (L) commissions the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre-Nakyesasa on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports-Hon. Janet Museveni on 17th June 2021.
The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (C), flanked by DVCAA-Dr. Umar Kakumba (R) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa (L) commissions the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre-Nakyesasa on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports-Hon. Janet Museveni on 17th June 2021.

Prior to presiding over the ceremony, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports officially commissioned the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre – Nakyesasa.

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UNMA Advisory on Agriculture and Food Security Jun-Aug 2021

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A male researcher inspects a maize cob in a demonstration plot on 13th August 2010 at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK), Wakiso Uganda.

The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) on 7th June 2021 released the seasonal rainfall outlook for the June-July-August (JJA) 2021 period. Contained in the outlook were advisories to various strategic sectors of the economy.

Particularly, the advisory to the Agriculture and Food Security sector was;

  • JJA season is often part of the normal dry season in the areas of South-western, western, parts of the eastern, and central Uganda. The farming communities in these areas are therefore advised to be vigilant during post-harvest handling by considering proper drying of the harvest on clean surfaces, use of tarpaulins and drying on racks;
  • Preparation of good storage facilities of produce to avoid compromising on quality and safety;
  • Channeling of the run-off water into the gardens in order to maximize on the soil moisture conservation;
  • For those areas where near normal to above normal rainfall is expected (most parts of northern and eastern Uganda), farmers are encouraged to continue with regular weeding, pest and disease surveillance and control;
  • Due to the expected enhanced rainfall in those areas, water logging and proliferation of fungal and bacterial crop diseases are likely to occur.
  • Open drainage channels around household and gardens to reduce risks from stagnant water causing damage to root tuber crops;
  • Flash floods and waterlogging are highly anticipated to occur in low lying areas expected to receive enhanced rainfall such as Katakwi and Kapelebyong. Therefore, communities are encouraged to keep watch over their crops, animals and property;
  • In Karamoja sub-region, where wetter conditions are expected, the pastoral communities are advised to diversify into boosting the production of cereals (sorghum, millet, and maize), beans, and ground nuts and sustain pasture availability for livestock.

Please see Downloads for the detailed outlook.

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4th Call For Applications: MURBS Departmental Ambassadors

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URBRA’s Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa (2nd L) assisted by Ag. University Secretary-Mr. Yusuf Kiranda (L) hands over a plaque of recognition to Outgoing Trustee-Ms. Dorothy Nannozi Kabanda (2nd R) as Incoming Trustee-Ms. Franco Angida Mugyema (R) applauds during the MURBS Board Handover on 26th March 2021.

In February 2018, the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) launched the Departmental Ambassadors Programme. MURBS hopes to use this Ambassadors Programme to engage more directly with its membership and enhance member education. MURBS further perceives this Programme as a means to mitigate succession planning risks.

MURBS Fund Value continues to grow, and as at 31st March 2021, it stood at Ushs 235.5bn as compared to Ushs 209.6bn as at 30th June 2020. Given this growth, there is increased need for prospective Trustees, who are well equipped with relevant knowledge and skills, and with practical exposure to the management and governance of MURBS.

Eligibility

  1. Must be employed by the University on permanent terms
  2. Must be an Active Member of the Scheme (currently contributing to the Scheme) and appear on the Official Register of the MURBS Active Membership as at 30th April 2021.
  3. Must be willing to commit time to trainings and other ambassadorial activities organised by the Scheme.

Mode of training for 4th Cohort of Ambassadors

Training for this (4th) Cohort of Ambassadors is envisaged to be conducted over the zoom online platform only, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Scheme does not envisage any face-to-face interactions.

Tenure of Office & Termination or Withdrawal

There is no tenure of office for the Departmental Ambassador. As long as a member is willing to continue serving as an Ambassador, and the Ambassador continues to satisfy the eligibility criteria above, she or he will remain a MURBS Ambassador.

How to Apply

Interested members should complete the MURBS Departmental Ambassador Application Form 01-0218. The completed Form together with the requested attachments should be sent to info[at]murbs.mak.ac.ug and copy to wilber.naigambi[at]mak.ac.ug no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, 14th June 2021. We discourage hand delivery of applications.

Confirmation/Approval Process

MURBS shall acknowledge receipt of each application received within 12 hours and will respond to the applicants to confirm the status of their application in writing (by e-mail). Upon approval of the application, the name of the approved Ambassador together with the Department and School/Unit will be updated on the list of the MURBS Departmental Ambassadors in the Group 4 category and published on the MURBS website.

NOTE: There is no limit as to the number of ambassadors that MURBS can have in a department.

Please see Downloads for the detailed call and application form.

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