President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday, 26th May, presided over the official opening of the new Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Pension Towers in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD).
Beyond its impressive glass, steel and stone works, President Kenyatta said that the magnificent building is the fruit of decades of dedicated service to the nation by the senior citizens, a towering symbol of a legacy of good work and proof of the wisdom of investing in the future.
“What is also admirable about the construction of this building is that it was fully financed from internal resources of the pension fund, with no contributions from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
“You, our senior citizens, it is your hard work that provided the resources to construct this magnificent edifice. I am confident that the returns arising from this investment will return a healthy dividend, thus providing financial resources that will take care of you and afford you a comfortable retirement,” President Kenyatta said.
His government, he added, had in the pst 10 years significantly improved the welfare of senior citizens.
“It is often stated that one of the best measures of how progressive a country is; is how it treats its older citizens. And by that measure, Kenya has over the last decade dramatically improved the way we treat our senior citizens,” the President said.
The Head of State said he was proud to be the first Kenyan leader to institutionalise a framework for supporting senior citizens through the “Inua Jamii” programme” that has over a million beneficiaries, in recognition of their contributions to the nation’s development.
He commended the CBK Pension Fund for tapping local human capital, noting that the professionals entrusted with putting the towers together as architects, quantity surveyors and engineers are all young Kenyans.
President Kenyatta pointed out that the inauguration of the building also celebrates the rising role of the pensions industry in accelerating the achievement of the national development agenda, adding that Kenya compares favourably with the developed markets in terms of the management of pension funds.
Since the enactment of the Retirement Benefits Act in 1997 and the subsequent establishment of the Retirement Benefits Authority in 2000, pension assets had grown from Ksh40 billion in 2000 to Ksh1.4 trillion as of June 2021.
“This remarkable growth was supported by a favourable regulatory environment and the consequent good governance of the pension funds,” the President said.
To further grow the pension sector, President Kenyatta assured the stakeholders that the government would continue to enforce good governance in the sector.
Speaking during the occasion attended by Chief Justice Martha Koome and Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, among other senior government officials, the CBK chairman, Prof Dominic Mwenja, thanked President Kenyatta for his leadership that has made Kenya a better place than it was 10 years ago.
“As you leave office, we are confident that the foundations that you have laid for the economic take-off of this country will enable the next government to lead this country to greater heights of economic growth and development without being caught in the middle-income trap that has happened in many middle-income countries,” Prof Mwenja said.
Explaining the design of the building, he said the towers leaning in the opposite direction represent two retired individuals facing opposite directions with the Pension Towers, Pension Fund and the CBK in between as the anchor and support of the retirees.
“This is a testament to how we view our retirees. Our retirees gave us the best years of their lives. It is incumbent upon us also to make sure that they are comfortable in their golden years,” he said.
Other speakers included Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani and CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge.