Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) Executive director Jolly karuhangire has said there are Ugandans who are taking advantage of foreign investors by extracting money from them which is inappropriate.
While speaking today at a Performance Review for her first 100 days in office, Kaguhangire noted that they (UIA) are receiving reports from foreign investors that some Ugandans are positioning themselves as middle men between government and the investors.
According to the director, these illegitimate ‘dealers’ ask for money from the unsuspecting investors in return to arrange meetings with the president or powerful people from the government.
“This is a bad practice that is shaming Uganda and making Uganda unattractive area for investment because investors are scared of being conned their money. It is surprising that every foreign investor in Uganda has about three Ugandans around him promising to give services and get them opportunities from the government,” Kaguhangire said.
She added that “we are urgently asking investors, foreign and domestic to avoid these middle men because they are not legit. Investment services are free of charge in Uganda and UIA has position itself in a way that we are easily accessible so there is no need for an investor to go through three people to reach us or the president.”
The conference was intended to enlighten the general public abut progress, strategic areas of focus and operational challenges of the authority at the moment.
Kaguhangire said that although Uganda has had challenges like corruption, unfavorable economic growth indicators; it is still among the most favored investment destination hence the need for Ugandans to resist from unfavorable practices that undermine Uganda.
“I ask all Ugandans to refrain themselves from such practices because there is not much to gain from conning our investors. The better option will be to partner with them by presenting your business ideas and asking for funding instead of extracting money to show them around offices. That is a cheap stunt,” she advised.
She added that UIA currently has over 76 licensed investment projects. The projected jobs to be created are 19,378 with an estimated total investment value of USD246 million.
On the progress of industrial parks, the UIA boos stated that they have Withdrawn land from 10 non-performing companies in the Kampala Industrial and Business Park, Namanve totaling to 52.48 acres and another 4 companies in Soroti Industrial Park amounting to 7.5 acres.
This land was reallocated to 12 companies that are to invest in strategic areas of the economy such as manufacture of solar panels, processing of fruit juice and cereals and many others.
These have been put under tight deadlines of 18 months to commence physical development of their plots.
“Another 30 companies in KIBP have been given notice of intention to withdraw allocated land totaling 49.5 acres. This notice will expire with in a period of three months. Failure to take possession of their lands will lead to automatic withdrawal of land,” she concluded.