‘GIPF the best fund in Southern Africa’

By Timo Shihepo

Windhoek – Namibia’s Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) is still the most solvent and best managed fund in southern Africa, with R97 billion in assets, despite losing R660 million to fraud years ago.

GIPF CEO David Nuyoma affirmed that the fund has since grown and improved internal investment controls and strengthened governance.

GIPF lost about R660 million more than 20 years ago in the now defunct Development Capital Portfolio (DCP).

DCP was aimed at investing in locally unlisted entities to stimulate the Namibian economy. The fund lost the bulk of the funds after it invested in start-ups owned by politically connected individuals who failed to pay back the loans they secured through the DCP, while their businesses went bust.

Nuyoma was also concerned by recent reports claiming that the fund’s assets have been allocated to purchasing bonds in a bid to rescue government as its liquidity crisis continues.

Nuyoma confirmed knowledge of the reports calling them rumours. He added that such rumours lack substance because GIPF’s current strategic allocations are working and that the assets allocations are in good standing.

He said the fund had R97 billion.

“We are solvent. At the current level we are doing fine. We are perhaps the most solvent fund I know in southern Africa and perhaps in the world. I was in the USA and I was shocked to see when I speak the kind of solvency level we are, they all wonder how we got it right.

The formula we are having of strategic allocations is working,” he said.

He said what GIPF does is that they have different investment categories which include equity, property, cash and bonds.

The fund has also put aside about 30 percent in reserves.

“We are very solid. I sleep well so are my board members.

We don’t have to worry that our funds are bloated. It’s all under control. I am not aware of any other fund which is as solid as we are. We are more than adequate to meet any sudden eventualities,” said Nuyoma.

The R660 million case

Almost two decades since  GIPF was swindled, the case is yet to come to a conclusion and no one has ever been convicted.

Nuyoma said the matter is out of the company’s hands as it is in the hands of the law enforcement agents and “whether they are still investigating, I do not know”.

Police Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga told The Southern Times this week that his force has done possibly the best it could do with the case and said all dockets had been forwarded to the Prosecutor General (PG).

“There is good progress. In fact, we did a tremendous job with the evidence we collected given the magnitude of this case. At the moment everything is now also out of our hands as all the dockets are with the PG,” he said.

He said they were now waiting for the PG to decide which dockets would go for prosecution and he was hoping that no dockets would come back to the force for further investigations.

“We are still continuing to do what’s needed to be done but we are afraid that some evidence might have been destroyed. We have collected all the evidence we could get and the PG is in a better position to decide.

All we have to do now is wait and see but we really hope that all the culprits are brought to task.”

February 2017
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