Govt procures construction equipment for hire

Dr Monica Musenero (L), the Science Technology and Innovation minister, inspects the equipment in Lyantonde District recently. Photo / Rajab Mukombozi 

What you need to know:

Government has procured 300 pieces of construction equipment and machinery to enhance technological and skills development and build capacity of Ugandans to participate in strategic national infrastructural projects and manufacturing 

Government, through the National Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation Skills Enhancement Project has procured 300 pieces of construction equipment and machinery to enhance technological and skills development and build capacity of Ugandans to participate in strategic national infrastructural projects and manufacturing. 

The equipment is part of the Shs435b National Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation Skills Enhancement Project under Uganda National Council for Science and Technology that seeks to help Ugandans build capacity with the view of participate in strategic sectors of the economy. 

Speaking at a sight tour in Lyantonde District, where the machinery is currently stationed, Mr Paul Okiria, the National Council for Science and Technology procurement officer, said the equipment, which will be used at a lease and use basis, will give Ugandan contractors an opportunity to compete with other international companies in undertaking major infrastructure projects. 

“I have been in this business of contracts for long but at times you sympathise with our local companies. You find it hard to award a contract to a local firm that is competing but just a tractor and perhaps a truck. But with this project, our local firms, individuals and even local governments, they can rent or lease the equipment to undertake major infrastructural projects,” he said, noting that some local companies such as National Enterprise Corporation had already expressed interest in renting some of the equipment. 

However, Okiria noted they were yet to come up with any fees structure, adding that charges for renting out or leasing the equipment will depend on how long a company or an individual intends to use the equipment. 

Large infrastructural projects are dominated by foreign companies, especially Chinese, due to low capacity of local contractors to handle mega projects. 

The equipment, among others include excavators, compactors, hoisters, water transportation trucks and auxiliary machinery. 

Mr Gerald Tumwine, a mechanical engineer with Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, said as part of enhancing local skills, they will offer skills training on handling and maintaining this equipment to companies that rent or lease the equipment.

Local capacity 

According to Mr Jossy Muhangi, the head of communications at Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, the equipment has been procured under the National Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation Skills Enhancement Project through Uganda National Council for Science and Technology to enhance technological and skills development as well as growing participation of local companies in large infrastructure projects. 

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