The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has blamed the government for failing to support local manufacturers and frustrating the National Local Content Bill, 2019 that seeks to implement measures to prioritize Ugandans in industrialization.
Speaking at the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) Business Networking Luncheon, Kadaga said that Parliament has engaged the government on issues to do with local content and supporting local manufacturers but in vain.
“We have had issues with Ministry of Finance inadequately capitalizing Uganda Development Bank (UDB). We want them to be properly funded; however, the money they get is only enough to support a handful of companies,” Kadaga said.
Kadaga added that the Finance Ministry has declined to issue a certificate of financial implication for the National Local Content Bill frustrating Parliament’s efforts in handling the bill.
“We are spectators in the economy as far as services, supplies and employment is concerned. Ugandans are not prioritized in investment, taking up government projects and even employment by foreign investors,” she said.
She added that there has been a lot of resistance from the government evident with the fact that privileges are being left to the foreigners as locals fend for themselves.
“When I visited Kapeeka Industrial park, the investors with industries are the ones who pull the amenities like water and electricity closer to their facilities yet government should be doing that,” she added.
The UMA Executive Director, Daniel Birungi said that there was lack of proper planning for the development of industries.
“We want Parliament to push for the mid-term review of the National Development Plan II so that the terms support industry development,” he said.
Birungi added that UDB needs to be properly capitalized for industries to receive investment loans at friendly rates.
“UDB is under-funded and therefore cannot support many local investors,” he said.
He said that there is need for the expansion of domestic revenue mobilization.
“There is no matching growth of the domestic income with domestic revenue. We need to know everyone engaged in small businesses by tagging them digitally and making collection of revenues easy,” Birungi said.