By Ben Ssebuguzi
Kampala: Mr President Yoweri Kaguta Museven, I take this honour using my missive to wish you a happy new year.
These two years have taken a toll order on our pockets, which have seen economic activities reduce due to tough covid measures. These have rendered many Ugandans slip into abject poverty as a result of unemployment.Covid 19 has led many to lose jobs and others involuntarily shutting down their businesses which is a source of their livelihood.
Your Excellency, in line with your goodwill of increasing the country’s industrialisation agenda,you have been injected over Ugx 200billions in UDB bank in order to enable industrialists like Mulwana, Uganda roofings, among others borrow money at lower interest rates compared to those from commercial banks.
However, to the sharp contrast, UDB seems to be doing nothing. Recently when you were commissioning a gloves factory in Namanve, Ben Kavuya, one the prominent entrepreneur, was crying foul because of UDB poor response to his new project. His displeasures were also substantiated by the investment minister, Evelyn Anite.
Mr. President, if we carry out an impact assessment, you might be disappointed to the bonemarrow because they have no impact on youth employment plus industrialisation and agriculture value addition as per their strategic plan and NDP3 in their previous 5 years. They are also capitalists,they simply fix the money with commercial banks to make a kill.
In 2019, in its report says, its loans to business reached 33.1billion up from 27.6billion in 2018, but nothing on ground that can be attributed to them in reducing poverty. The private sector are simply marshalling their way out to the top. Even with those suspicious projects they finance,they are either struggling or limping which leaves everyone just gazing as they are fond of declaring bad loans.
Mr.President, i want to blame your western world trained economists for failure to adjust accordingly to the situation at home instead of copying the west stimulus packages which they are pumping in their economies. In Uganda we have few middle class that can buy goods and services.
We have our country side industries that make bread, juice, water among others which might never benefit from UDB funds yet if empowered differently,then we can increase job creation and value addition.
Let us spend the intended 1trillion for UDB funds into the Parish development model as a covid stimulus using the bottom top approach of fighting poverty.
Look for PART 11 how this is going to support private sector resilience and sustainability. Now that government plans to inject Ugx 1 trillion.
Ben Ssebuguzi is an entrepreneur, economist and Secretary general of Uganda poor youth movement.