Govt ignoring local investors - traders
Posted Sunday, February 24 2013 at 02:00
Business people from Arua have accused the government of ignoring domestic investors and instead encouraging foreign ones.
The traders argue that they only need skills and opportunities to technological investment to develop, saying they are endowed with abundance of local materials.
Mr Titia Kamure, a businessman, said there could be a deliberate ploy to frustrate domestic investors.
“Whether there is a government or not, people in West Nile are ever hard working. They will invest in their development and compete with the foreign investors. But this issue of foreign investors also engaging in chapati business is unhealthy,” he said.
Mr Kamure said the involvement of foreign investors in petty trade forces local traders out of business.
“Some resort to casual jobs and offering labour for the foreign investors,” he said.
During a meeting with Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) in Arua on Thursday, the district chairman, Mr Sam Nyakua, said West Nile had been denied investment opportunities with absence of power for decades.
He said foreign investors in Uganda especially, Asians, have resorted to selling cheap alcohol that is an unhealthy business.
“If Indians who also came to Uganda resort to selling tea, what will our wives do?” he asked.
The Executive Director UIA, Mr Frank Sebowa, said West Nile has opportunities to big emerging markets in Congo and Sudan which opportunity they have not utilised.
“Our businessmen should know that people look for good quality goods and services and quantity. No Congolese or Sudanese will waste his money to go to Kampala to buy goods if what they want is here,” said Mr Sebowa.
He condemned the municipal authorities for giving trading permits to Indians with small businesses.
“They (Indians) should not be given trading licences. They are not supposed to deal in small enterprises,” he said.
The State Minister for Investment, Dr Gabriel Aridru, said: “Before this industry begins, West Nile should develop the land, have adequate power, and should have efficient roads and water that the industry needs.”
Reported by Susan Kelly Maandebo & Felix Warom Okello