Government is in the advanced plans of resuming full ownership of the National Housing and Construction Company Limited, as the country’s housing deficit rises to a staggering 140, 000 units annually.
This was revealed by Chris Baryomunsi, the state minister for housing while presenting a budget framework paper for the 2020/2021 to 2024/2025 Financial Years.
Baryomunsi revealed that the Libyan government, which owns 49% shares in the company has not fulfilled its commitments, largely due to turmoil back home which started after the ouster of Col. Muammar Qaddafi in 2013.
Lately, he said, government had learnt that majority of the officials designated to sit on the National Housing board now belong to the opposition.
Following counsel from the Attorney General (AG) William Byaruhanga, the minister says government has moved to replace these Libyan officials with Ugandans on the board.
“We have started the process of disengaging, by asking the Attorney General to interpret whether only Ugandans can sit on the board which he has agreed and therefore on the board the Libyans no longer sit there,” Baryomunsi stated.
Furthermore, he pointed out that government was studying modalities of compensating the Libyan government so as to reclaim full ownership of the firm.
“Government will get a way of buying off the shares which are held by the Libyan government so that government can gain 100% shares or even find some Ugandan companies to buy these shares,” Baryomunsi explained.
Libyan African Investment Company (LAICO) was awarded these shares in 2005 in an agreement where Uganda was excused from paying accumulated interest off its debt that stood at 162.8 billion shillings to Libya.
Established by an Act of Parliament (Cap 321) of 1964, NHCC is credited for having built 2,384 affordable housing units.