Hope Waira (right) interacting with Michael Awounor during a business meeting held at UIA head offices in Kampala on Wednesday. Photo by Shamim Saad
Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) has wooed Nigerian Investors to come and invest in some of the key sectors in the country.
The key sectors named include agro processing, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), tourism, mineral beneficiation, culture and creative industry and packaging of Uganda’s products.
While addressing the 12-member delegation of investors at UIA offices, yesterday, Hope Waira a senior investments executive, said that there are a lot of opportunities in these sectors for the investors.
“I know Nigeria is a big economy and I believe you are here to increase our Foreign Direct Inflow (FDI). We produce so much food, but we do not have proper packaging for it to identify it as Ugandan. We want to add value to our natural products,” she said. Uganda’s FDI now stands at USS$1,147m.
She noted that currently they have identified ten major products that need investors who are interested in packaging them. The products include coffee, maize, fish, beans, cotton, citrus fruits, rice, beef and bananas.
She also asked them to take interest in religious tourism especially the Uganda Martyrs shrine in Namugongo, Uganda’s culture and creative industry, and the country’s beautiful scenery for those interested in filming.
Waira noted that there is a huge need in the country for decent hotels, conference centres, marine infrastructures and skills development centres such as schools.
Emmanuel Bukonjaku an official from Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) tax department told the investors that for those who will engage in businesses where they export 80% of the produce, will have a 10 year tax holiday.
He said that importation of plant and machinery for use in agro processing will not be taxed and that those who will engage in diary businesses, we enjoy tax exemptions on machinery and diary product transportation cars.
“We do not tax losses. In case you incur expenses more than your income and you have made losses, we shall allow you carry it forward,” he said.
Ronny Mulongo from Private Sector Foundation (PSU) assured the investors that government is committed to developing the private sector and it has put in place the legal and regulatory frame works which favor the investors.
The 12-member delegation was led by Chief Micheal Awunor, the president of Nigeria Uganda Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture. The association was formed in August this year.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Awunor said that this was a fact finding mission, they are going back to reorganise themselves and then come back for business.
“We would have chosen another country to invest it but no, we love Uganda. We are here to work together for the development of both nations,” he said.
He asked government to consider the members of the Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mine and Agriculture and give them priority in all international contracts and jobs, noting that they have both finance and expertise required in all the fields.