Investors to get licences in 24 hours, says UIA boss

An official explains the Malaba site one-stop border plan on Monday. Courtesy Photo.

What you need to know:

This will be the second time Uganda is establishing a one-stop centre.

Cases of investors spending weeks if not months, chasing for operation licences, could be minimised if the one-stop centre set up at the Uganda investment Authority (UIA) operates efficiently.

According to the investment authority, the presidential directive to create a one-stop-centre is aimed at limiting the number of days an investor takes to secure a licence that will allow him/her start operations.

UIA executive director Frank Sebowa told journalists on Monday that the investment body hopes to clear all licences within 24 hours. However, when major information is lacking, clearance will be extended but shall not exceed three days.

Currently, prospective investors are often subjected to frustrating delays in their attempts to establish businesses in the country.

And when the electronic licensing begins, the investment body will be clearing licences in a matter of hours. Although he did not say when this will begin, it is understood that this week the Prime Minister office will be discussing the final technical details of the National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U) managed project.

But in the meantime, the licensing agencies like the Citizenship and Immigration Control office, Uganda Revenue Authority, Lands offices, National Environmental Management Authority, NITA-U and Bank of Uganda have been allocated furnished offices worth Shs11 million at the investment body.

“The one-stop centre will offer investment services to both local and foreign investors,” Mr Sebbowa said.

He continued: “There was no effective One Stop Centre system as the earlier desk that was allocated to the officers from the different licensing agencies were not just uncomfortable but lacked facilities and it compromised the safety of important documents.”

The development is a bonus to the private sector with the Private Sector Foundation executive director, Mr Gideon Badagawa saying: “We also expect real services that will quicken investment rather than derail it.”