Monday November 6 2017

Investors call for lower power tariffs


JINJA. Investors under the Jinja Investment Forum (JIF) want government to lower power tariffs for industries if the country is to compete favourably at both regional and global level.
The call was made last week in a meeting organised by JIF attended by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga at Euromera Industries Ltd after visiting several industries in Jinja.
Ms Mary Immaculate Akello, the human resource manager Nilus Tobacco Processing Company, said the high tariffs have intensified the cost of production and prices of commodities.
She said when the cost of production increases it means the Buy Uganda Build Uganda policy (BUBU) will not be implemented.
“If the cost of power is very high, it will render other services very expensive and this will push companies that would have supported BUBU to start processing their tobacco from outside. It will also affect the cost of production, our profitability and price of tobacco,” Ms Akello said.
The group corporate manager Nile Agro Companies Limited, Mr Francis Baganzi, said one of the challenges they face is the high cost of production partly caused by costly power tariffs.
He called upon government to intervene by reducing the power tariffs for a smooth investment climate for business investors.
“Uganda is not in a desert. We are not in Saudi Arabia but utilities like electricity are the highest in the world. Government should come to our rescue because when the utility costs are high production cost will increase and we may not compete on the world market,” Mr Baganzi said.
Ms Kadaga promised to dispatch a Committee on Finance, which is currently dealing with taxation issues, to ascertain the situation of power tariffs in industries so as to solve the problem.