Business

UIA: Namanve Industrial Park Not A Flop

viagra http://compspoultry.com.au/wp-includes/class-feed.php geneva; font-size: small;”>Since World Bank pulled out its funding of the project in 2011 citing environmental degradation and lack of transparency, some media reports have hastened to conclude that the park was only an ‘overambitious government venture, a shadow of its own self and didn’t emphasize president Museveni’s drive to turn Uganda into an industrialized country by 2025.’

The Namanve Park is one of the 9 Industrial parks currently being developed by government across the country and a total of 22 planed to be established in the next decade.

Speaking to press at his office at Namanve on Wednesdya evening, UIA Executive Director Eng Frank Sebbowa said that the media remarks had not taken into account of a lot of factors.

“It’s not correct for people to say that there is not activity taking place here,” he said. “Those who claim that we have abandoned this project are only being unfair.”

A two-hour ride around the 2000hacre project with the Executive Director unveils a number of development sites including enormous factories like Roofings Ltd, Alfasan [The country’s first ever Veterinary Medicine factory], Kyagalanyi Coffee Plant, Victoria Seeds among others; most of which are being finalized while others have already commenced business.

UIA is currently working on electrification of the entire park, providing water, a good road network as well as a backbone for Telecommunications.


Indeed a 33KV Power line has been set up in the area while a 132KV one is projected to be completed by October 2014.

This is in addition to an 18inch pipe water line cutting though the park, 2 police units a total of 20km of murram roads and drainage systems since most of the area is in wetland.

Owing to deficient funding from government Mr. Sebbowa said, much concentration is being placed on road connections adding that poor transport network is what has been delaying proliferation of factories in the park.

“There are many companies such as Mukwano, Uganda Baati, and Oscar Industies which have already obtained their leases but cannot come here because sites are not accessible,” he said.

“We believe that a long as we can open up a road to your site and it becomes motorable, you should come and start business because that is better than waiting.”

Some companies have taken the initiative of constructing their own roads to connect to the main Jinja road and other already existing ones without waiting for UIA.

Since World Bank halted its support, government has sought alternative funding sources for the over 180 Million Dollar project and so far, companies from China, South Africa and Canada have expressed interests.

In case government picks the bidding option, the Chinese have an upper hand because they are not private companies and government-to-government negotiations are often preferred.

According the Sebbowa, if the Chinese win the contract, they are likely to speed up the entire exercise and may be done with everything in the next two years.

LEASES

When the park was advertised for leasing in 2009, 431 entities submitted their applications, out of which 277 were allocated land by the UIA Board. Only 42 have so far obtained leases while 121 have finished surveying their land and their leases are being processed.

74 companies were found not to have made any further developments on their allocations [accruing to 184 hectares] and UIA reclaim this land back from them pending applications from other interested investors.

Sebowa also dismissed claims that land is being apportioned only to ‘relatives, friends and in-laws.’

“We have put in place a list of transparent and fair criteria which we will submit to government, PPDA, and Solicitor General for approval before being set as standard measures for allocation of land to anybody.” He noted.

A hectare of land is currently being leased at USD 80,000 in addition to an annual fee of USD 10Dollars form every entity.

Companies dealing in significant industries like food processing and ICT are being allocated free land on the park

It is initially a 3 year lease, after which UIA comes in and checks whether the land awarded has been significantly developed, short of which the lease is not renewed.

With water, power and a road network in place Sebowa notes that this park has been priced at an incredibly low rate since the normal market price would not be less than USD 160,000.

This he says is because government is not interested in making profit, by is envision creation of more jobs, expanding the tax base and importation of new modern technologies from foreign investors.

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