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Why was the merger never effected?

By Vision Reporter

Added 25th September 2005 03:00 AM

In 2000, in an anticipated operations improvement and cost saving strategy, the government hired a consultant called Martin Hogg to examine how two parastatals were operating and to recommend the best way they could be managed.

In 2000, in an anticipated operations improvement and cost saving strategy, the government hired a consultant called Martin Hogg to examine how two parastatals were operating and to recommend the best way they could be managed. The parastatals are the Uganda Export Promotions Board under the ministry of Trade, Tourism and Industry and the Uganda investment Authority under the ministry of finance. The consultant recommended that the two bodies would be merged but the merger has never taken place and if cost saving and efficiency in their operations were the reasons and the survey was well conducted, one wonders why the merger has never taken place and why nobody is talking about it at all today. Specifically on the Uganda Export Promotion Board, Hogg recommended that it should be scrapped and trade promotions functions, which the board is handling, be transferred to the Export Promotions Department of the Uganda Investment Authority which is most suited and well facilitated and the department be enlarged. He also recommended that product market research and development functions which the board handles are private sector roles and should be transferred to the Private Sector Function and the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and industry while export licensing roles which the board also handles should also be transferred to the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Five years down the road, nobody is talking about the Martin Hogg recommendations yet a lot of money was used to carry out the survey. The Uganda Export Promotions Board still remains a poorly facilitated organisation unable to fully carry out some of the roles it is mandated to carry out.
nobody knows the export promotions department of the Uganda Investment Authority while other programmes such as the Uganda Programme on Trade Opportunities and Policy funded by the European Union and implemented by the Ministry of Tourism Trade and Industry and Private sector Foundation Uganda have come up.
We should remember that the Ministry of trade tourism and industry has a trade department which handles issues of trade research, policy formulation and promotion. There is duplication of roles by these organisations, a thing Hogg ably pointed out.
All these public and private organisations have similar roles and do similar activities but have different budgets.
The ministers of Finance Planning and Economic Development and of Trade, Tourism and Industry should explain to the public why the merger has never been effected and why no statement has ever been made on the matter. If the Martin Hogg recommendations were biased, why not let the public know. If they were sound why have they never been implemented especially considering that so much money has was spent on the consultancy?

John K. Abaho
Kampala

Why was the merger never effected?

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