Government to vet investors

By Mary Karugaba

For the domestic investor, the government has also raised the figures from $50,000 (about 181m) to $100,000 (about 362m).

Anite 350x210

In order to get rid of fake foreign investors, the government has put in place measures to vet all potential investors coming into the country.

As part of the measures, government has increased the minimum investment capital required for registration from $150,000 (about sh543m) to $250,000 (about sh906m).

For the domestic investor, the government has also raised the figures from $50,000 (about 181m) to $100,000 (about 362m). 

According to the new Investment Code Bill 2017, the minister may however by statutory instruments and with the approval of cabinet vary the minimum investment value.

According to the Bill, no foreign investor will be allowed to invest or participate in the operation of any investment activity in Uganda before registration with the authority.

Those who contravene the provision will be fined sh20m or be jailed for a period not exceeding four years or both.   

“As a country, we are in high gears of attracting investors. But as we attract them, we don’t want conmen.  We want serious people with enough capital to invest and create jobs for our people. We want them to show why we should give them free land and other incentives,” Investment Minister Evelyn Anite said.

Anite says the money must be on the investor’s personal account for them to be issued with an investment license.

Reports indicate that due to lack of capital, several investors who were allocated land in Namanve have failed to develop the area.

According to sources, Uganda Investment Authority has also moved to revoke some of the offers after the owners failed to develop the land.investment in Uganda and advising government on investment policy and related matters.

The Bill also proposes that rather than performing as a department in the Ministry of Finance, the Authority should be autonomous with its own vote just like other government authorities.

As a one stop center, the Bill proposes that for purposes of registration, licensing and approval, government agencies should sign agreements with the Authority, defining the service commitments and maximum delivery time for services they offer to the investors.