By ADAM IHUCHA :A S embarassed: Posted Sunday, February 5 2012 at 13:52 Tanzania's National Social Security Fund is keen to make further inroads into East Africa's real estate sector with its planned construction of a commercial building in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. The complex, to be built at the junction of Mara and Hill roads in the upmarket Upper Hill area of the Kenyan capital, will house the Tanzanian Chancery and a shopping mall. The building will be a one-stop centre for the country's affairs in Nairobi. Apart from Tanzanian diplomats, a large chunk of the complex will be reserved for business offices. The initial construction cost of the 26-storey embassy, to be named Umoja House, is estimated at $40 million and will be managed by the government and NSSF. The state, whose equity in the project includes the ownership of plot number 209/3678 in Upper Hill, will contribute 20 per cent of the project's share capital while NSSF will foot the remaining 80 per cent. Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Bernard Membe confirmed to The EastAfrican that construction work will kick off in July. Mr Membe said the commercial building in Nairobi will be used to generate income to cater for other diplomatic missions in Africa, in a bid to reduce operational costs. "It is expensive to run a mission abroad and so we want to set up a number of investment centres in strategic areas to generate revenue to meet the costs of our diplomatic missions around the globe," he said. Besides the Nairobi centre, the state plans to build a $28 million complex in London. Tanzania already owns 17 such premises out of 32 foreign missions worldwide. The first investment centres were set up in Washington DC and New York a few years ago. "This mega project will set a precedent for other similar projects in Kigali, Rwanda and the wider region," said Yacoub Kidula, NSSF director of planning, investments and projects. NSSF's director general Dr Ramadhani Dau says that plans are underway to replicate other construction projects at Tanzania's embassies in Kigali, Maputo in Mozambique, Abuja in Nigeria and Kinshasa in the DRC. The NSSF pension bill currently stands at nearly $76 million per annum, with the highest paid pensioner getting $6,565 per month and the lowest getting $50. The current number of NSSF pensioners stands at 6,049, according to NSSF's director of operations Crescentius Magori. NSSF's investment policy demands that 75 per cent of operational income go to investments while 25 per cent is used to pay member's benefits and administration costs. NSSF invested $130 million to construct Kigamboni Bridge, a tourist hotel in Mwanza with a capacity of 122 rooms, two office complexes in Arusha and residential quarters for police in various part of the country. "Due to growing pension demands and to be able to enhance our member's benefits we must invest, especially in real estate," said Mr Kidula. Originally, construction was scheduled to kick off in September 2010 and expected to be completed by March 2012 before being formally handed over in October 2012.