Ugandan investors have called on Members of Parliament to support their efforts of developing the local industries and promoting local content.
According to Metu Katabazi, the Chairman and Founder of Metu Zhongtong Bus Industries, Ugandan service providers have often been undermined in the Ugandan market with that Ugandans failing to promote consumption of local content.
While meeting MPs on the Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industry, Katabazi cited the procurement of 980 Tondeka buses through Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) from India which he says undermines Uganda’s locally established manufacturing plant in Namanve.
“I got concerned when I heard from press reports that KCCA was buying buses from India and I asked myself why we built a factory here. I have come to appeal to you to enable us to be get a return on our investments, said Katabazi.
He added that Metu Zhongtong Bus Industries is capable of manufacturing 2000 city buses for KCCA within a period of two years using locally available raw material. Katabazi said Government should provide tax incentives and procurement support to local manufacturers to enable them boost investment and production.
“If we can manufacture 2000 buses for KCCA, imagine the capacity we can build locally as an industry especially in terms of jobs and expertise for our youth who are graduates in related engineering courses,” said Katabazi.
MPs advised Katabazi to invest more in advertising in a bid to create awareness to stakeholders like the relevant ministries and Government agencies about the availability of a bus manufacturing plant in Namanve industrial area.
John Baptist Lokii (NRM, Matheniko County) was concerned about the lifespan of buses manufactured by the Kampala based industry adding that, ‘if such buses were put on the road, would they be durable enough’.
“If the buses were to be manufactured for KCCA, they would have a lifespan of 50 years,” said Katabazi, adding that,” a bus in the city does light work because it covers short distances.”
Kasese Municipality MP, Robert Centenary also advised the company to present a profile to MPs when they carry out a field visit to the manufacturing plant which he said would set ground for potential lobbying for contract support.
“We will need to study your business plan in terms of your investment portfolio, your expected tax out-turn and how you plan to execute in case you are given business by KCCA,” Centenary said.
Committee Chairperson, Robert Kasule said they would engage the KCCA leadership on the company proposal.
On Tuesday, March 19 2019, President Yoweri Museveni opened the Metu Zhongtong Bus Industries in Namanve Industrial Park, and launched the bus manufactured by the industry, which is currently being used by Larem Bus Services on the Kampala-Gulu highway.
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