Museveni asks steel makers to work with partners
Posted Thursday, October 3 2013 at 01:00
President Museveni has asked steel manufacturers in Uganda to form a group and work with development partners to exploit Uganda’s abundant iron ore reserves to support growth of the sector.
Speaking at the launch of Shs320 billion Roofings Rolling Mills (RRM) plant in Namanve Industrial Park yesterday, Mr Museveni said using local iron ore will save the country billions of shillings which have been flying out annually to import raw materials, in addition to lowering the cost of production for manufacturers.
He added that although majority of steel manufacturers in Uganda use scrap as raw materials in the production of steel products, it is not strong enough to be used in the construction of big projects such as dams and tall buildings, thus the need to use iron ore. Iron ore is biggest raw material used in the production of steel products worldwide.
The plant which is said to be the largest in East Africa, with capacity to produce 225,000 metric tonnes at full capacity per annum, is a brain child of Mr Sikander Lalani, who is also the Roofings Group chairman.
While teasing Ugandans for not undertaking big investment projects, Mr Museveni said: “Most Indians come to Uganda while they are poor but sacrifice and invest in big projects like this plant (Roofings) while Ugandans, even those with a lot of money spend it drinking alcohol and womanising.” “I am not abusing you but this is a fact. So you should wake up and emulate people like Lalani,” Mr Museveni told delegates at the launch of the plant.
Mr Museveni also asked people who have constructed houses in the Industrial Park to vacate immediately and pave way for the construction of industries. Frank Sebowa, the Uganda Investment Authority executive director ,appealed to investors who were allocated land in the Industrial Park to develop it with immediate effect.