Home Business Col. Nakalema assures local investors gov’t support

Col. Nakalema assures local investors gov’t support

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The Head of the State House Investors Protection Unit, Col. Edith Nakalema has assured local investors that the government is committed to supporting them to develop their businesses since they play a vital role in the transformation of Uganda’s economy.

She said the support is being offered through the unit which was established by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni this year to collaboratively promote and protect a thriving investment climate in Uganda.

“You are of great importance and honor to His Excellency the President. He heard your appeal that the government should intervene to make what you are doing to become better,” she said.

Col. Nakalema made the assurance today during a meeting with the domestic investors in the various sectors of the economy and policymakers at the unit’s offices in Kampala.

She also appreciated the local investors for their contribution towards the development of Uganda’s economy through creating jobs, paying taxes, and promoting value addition to the country’s raw materials.

“We thank you for promoting patriotism by investing in our country, you would have taken the investment elsewhere but you decided to invest here. You are great patriots, and for that, we appreciate you,” Col. Nakalema asserted.

“We are ready to respond to all your appeals and help you deal with the issues affecting your businesses such as the challenges of bank loans and taxes. We shall make sure that the environment for investment is a good one. As policymakers, you should sensitize the indigenous investors to see how they can benefit from the different government programs.”

Col. Nakalema however expressed concern over the inability by the local investors to access loans under the Agricultural Credit Facility and Small Business Recovery Fund due to unfavorable processes.

“The Agricultural Credit Facility has not been accessed well by the beneficiaries. Farmers are complaining,” she revealed.

“There’s a need to consider Small And Medium-Sized Enterprises to have special financing otherwise we are losing them yet we need them for our economic development.”

Col. Nakalema further reminded the local investors of the obligations they must fulfill as businesspeople.

“When you borrow, you must pay back but without suffering or being under pressure. H.E. the President insists that no Ugandan must suffer at the hands of others, we mean good and we want to develop our economy with you. You also have an obligation to pay taxes; pay them happily,” she stated.

“My commitment is that I will try my level best to ensure that all the issues reported to us are attended to, to ensure that our economy runs well.”

The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner General, Mr. John Rujoki Musinguzi said the local investors are the backbone of the economy and appreciated them for their contribution towards the economy by paying taxes.

Mr. Musinguzi also assured the investors that the authority recognizes the challenges they face when it comes to paying taxes and they aim to improve their revenue administration by enhancing the relationship with taxpayers.

“Such meetings give me an opportunity we sit down with my team to come up with solutions to your challenges. We are carrying out taxpayer engagements so that we treat you fairly. We are doing it sector by sector. We want you to help us widen the tax base and these engagements will help us agree on how we can work together better,” Mr. Musinguzi said.

“Taxes when well-handled will not kill your business but errors will,” he further advised.

The Chairperson of Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), Mr. Thadeus Musoke Nagenda said the association is ready to work with the State House Investors Protection Unit to empower local business people in the country.

Mr. Nagenda however expressed concern that many local investors are closing business due to the unfavorable cost of accessing loans.
“The cost of access to loans is still a very big challenge. Personally, I have been processing a loan for the last 9 months and I have spent over Shs15m in the process, which means that even accessing loans, you have to have money. The bureaucracy, the interest rates, and the cost of doing business are affecting us,” he said.

On the issue of the Small Business Recovery Fund, Mr. Nagenda disclosed that over 500 members of KACITA applied for the loan but none of them has ever accessed the funds due to unfavorable requirements.

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