President Yoweri Museveni has urged the business community in Arua to understand the ideology of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) on doing business.
According to the President, the vision and mission of the NRM is to have all the masses shown the way to prosperity mostly through commercial agriculture and the businesspeople should help government in this area in order for their businesses to thrive and be sustained.
“Businesspeople should not restrict themselves to trading and value addition and forget about commercial farming by those with land. Why? Because you need more raw materials if you’re in value addition and secondly you need purchasing power,” said the President on Wednesday while addressing the business community and investors of West Nile in Arua who included small, medium and large-scale businesses in different sectors such as value addition, manufacturing, hospitality industry, transportation, among others.
The President who is on an investment and wealth creation tour in West Nile under the theme: “securing your future through wealth creation and shared prosperity”, informed the gathering that all Ugandans must be supported to engage in commercial agriculture using the 4-acres model and the seven activities proposed in the NRM Manifesto.
The seven activities include; growing of coffee, fruits, food crops, zero grazing dairy cattle, poultry, pigs, and fish farming.
“Our Parish Development Model-PDM has all the solutions. Here in West Nile, if people have 4 acres of land, let them practice the 4 acres model plus the 7 activities,” the President noted, adding that this will enable the local people to buy finished products from the businesspeople who will in turn get raw materials from them.
The President ordered for the arrest of all those involved in staging multiple roadblocks to collect taxes from businesspeople saying roadblocks were abolished a long time ago.
“We are talking of the Common Market for East Africa which means free movement of goods within the region. Multiple taxation should stop,” the President warned.
About the roads, the President said that government will ensure there is money to maintain the roads once constructed but also to constantly check on the quality of the constructed roads to avoid shoddy work giving an Example of the road from Karuma to Arua that is under reconstruction.
“My Engineering Unit of State House will come and check and tell me. If we find bad works, we are going to blacklist or even prosecute them,” Gen. Museveni noted.
Responding to the issue of insufficient capital and the high interest rates on loans from Commercial Banks, the President urged that the Parish Development Model (PDM) will solve this immediately once it is fully understood and supported.
“Don’t take long expensive loans from Commercial Banks. Concentrate on improving the working of Uganda Development Bank (UDB). Work with your MPs to support me to put more money there. The PDM is helping us to start the Parish Banks which will be receiving 100 Million Shillings each year,” the President emphasized.
The Minister of State for Finance in charge of Investments, Evelyn Anite; informed the President that in line with his directive, land has been secured in different Districts of West Nile to establish Industrial Parks.
The Chairperson of Arua Business Community; Moses Obetya, on behalf of the large-scale business persons in West Nile, appreciated President Museveni for the prevailing peace that has enabled them to do business.
“We used to spend nights on the road from Arua to Kampala and sometimes not being sure of our safety while returning to Arua. Today, this is no longer the case,” Mr Obetya said.
Mr. Anguyo John who spoke on behalf of the small-scale businesses, called upon the President to intervene in the mismanagement of Arua Market. The market is not benefiting the poor people for which it was constructed. He informed the President that up to 750 stalls in the market have not been allocated.
President Museveni revealed that he has already received a full report and those involved including the Chief Administration Officer – CAO and the Town Clerk will have to answer. “They are finished now,” he said.
The meeting was also attended and addressed by the Vice-President, Major (Rtd) Jessica Alupo Rose Epel.
Others were Ministers; Obiga Kania (Urban Development), Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu (Primary Education), Gen. Katumba Wamala (Works & Transport), Dr. Chris Baryomunsi (ICT & National Guidance) and Ruth Nankabirwa (Energy & Mineral Development). Others included the NRM Secretary General Richard Todwong, Hon Members of Parliament from Arua and officials from Uganda Revenue Authority and Uganda Investment Authority.