Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) top officials have dismissed claims that the organisation is under panic and at verge of collapsing.
This followed a notice to resign by its acting Executive Director Basil Ajer, and the long standing battles with the formal ED Jolly Kaguhagire, all of which pointed to possible instability at the Authority.
While speaking today at the first quarter Investment Licences review meeting that took place at Serena Hotel, the UIA Chairman Board of Directors, Emely Kugonza said although the body did experience some challenges in the past months, it is now back on its feet and functioning well.
“We do not have any internal conflicts and we are not in panic; everything is going well and we are fully performing our mandate of promoting investments in Uganda,” Kugonza said.
The Acting ED Ajer said during the meeting that while it is true that he handed in his resignation notice – that will be in six months, – he is not leaving the organisation because of misunderstanding with the Board or because the organisation is not performing.
“I am resigning to go and try out other opportunities. This is a normal change. If I was resigning because I am panicking, I wouldn’t give a six months’ notice. I am willing to work with the board in the process of getting a new Acting ED and also help in the smooth transition so that the organisation can move forward after my departure” he said.
The UIA bosses went on to paint a rosy picture of the Authority’s current performance.
According to the investment report for July to September 2018 that was presented by Ajer, there has been an increase in the number of investment companies licensed from 54 in the 4th quarter of 2017/2018 to 67 in the 1st quarter of the 2018/2019 indicating a 24.2% increase.
The number of job opportunities created also increased from 4,744 to 7276 jobs in 2018/2019 indicating a 34.3% increase.
Most of the investments are with in the manufacturing sector (42%), and by Ugandans.
According to Ajer, Ugandans were able to invest $82.7million in the country, followed by Lebanon ($65m), United Arab Emirates $ (51.2m), India ($12m) and China ($5.5m)
“Compared to other years when China, Europe and Kenya were our biggest investors, we are seeing new comers from Lebanon, UAE and India coming up. The increase in the investments are due to government policy towards value addition and 10 year tax holiday for export oriented investors” Ajer said
UIA is one of the organisations that was listed to be scrapped off and taken back to the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Development.