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Uganda Gets US$15m To Curb Border Smugglers

The Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija has today signed and exchanged notes with the ambassador of China, Zheng Zhuqian for financial support worth US$15m to be given to Uganda by the Republic of China in order to improve border inspections.

The money will be in form of non-intrusive scanners, modernized customs risk management, supervision and communication system, capacity building, customs service and enforcement support and improving border infrastructure among others.

Speaking at the ceremony that took place at the Ministry of Finance, Kasaija noted that the support will go a long way in eliminating smuggling of weaponry arms and other economic goods.

“This project is aimed at improving performance, efficiency and ultimately increasing tax collections. The project will lead to scientific methods of increasing revenue collection, trade facilitation and border controls,” Kasaija said.

This follows a directive from President Yoweri Museveni to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to install scanners as one of the measures to curb smuggling of illegal weapons and other things.

The two government officials also signed and exchanged notes for an additional US$ 155, 000 for the feasibility study of the Uganda Roads and Railway Polytechnic project located in Ribonyi-Tororo district in eastern Uganda.

The project funds will be used to construct study buildings and also equip the established infrastructure with the necessary facilities.

Ambassador Zhuqiang noted that the support will go a long way in strengthening the relationship between Uganda and China.

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“The implementation of these projects will certainly make positive contributions to Uganda’s social transformation and improvement of people’s livelihood,” he said.

Agnes Nabwiru, Acting Assistant Commissioner Customs, thanked the Chinese government for the support and noted that it will improve URA’s efficiency in detecting smuggled goods.

“We have been using manual and other means to make sure no smuggled goods go through the borders. I am positive that with the scanners, the efficiency in doing our job will be highly improved,” Nabwiru said.

 

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