URA acquires 27 new baggage, cargo scanners

Wednesday October 06 2021
techpix

A cargo truck passes through a mobile scanner at Gatuna border post on June 18, 2019. Government has had challenges with achieving effective tax collection with shortfalls blamed on an increase in leakages created by defective methods. PHOTO | ROBERT MUHEREZA

By Mugangha Kolyangha

Uganda Revenue Authority [URA] has acquired 27 baggage and cargo scanners to strengthen inspection of imports and exports. 

The scanners, according to Mr Ian Rumanyika, the URA acting assistant commissioner public and corporate affairs, will be an addition to those already existing at Malaba, Busia, Mirama Hills, Elegu, Entebbe and Mutukula one-stop border points. 

They will also, he said, be a key enabler in addressing URA’s security controls at border points across Uganda.

Government has had challenges with achieving effective tax collection with shortfalls blamed on an increase in leakages created by defective methods. 

In a statement, Mr John R Musinguzi, the URA commissioner general, said the scanners are part of a Shs100b investment that seeks to increase tax collection by at least 30 per cent. 

“Our economy is growing and with this kind of technology, we should be able to [raise] the tax to gross domestic product ratio in the next three years” he said, noting that URA staff should sufficiently use the new scanners because; “technology is only as good as the human resources behind it”. 

Advertisement

The scanners have advanced X-ray non-intrusive technology to detect contraband, illegal weapons or any other dangerous objects. 

Mr Abel Kagumire, the URA commissioner customs, said they expect another 12 scanners before the end of this month to cover all the 39 border stations. 

The acquisition comes weeks after President Museveni, during the [email protected] celebrations complained of the low tax to GDP ratio that has stagnated between 11 and 12 per cent.   

He said that whereas a lot has been achieved, URA has a potential to achieve more if all leakages are closed. 

“Although you are congratulating yourselves, performance doesn’t lie. We can know if the tax people are doing work. The tax to GDP ratio has stagnated around 11 per cent, 12 per cent and 13 per cent. As soon as we created URA, we jumped to 11 per cent but we are now stuck.”  Mr Museveni said. 

Where is the other money going? Buildings are increasing and imports. Do you think God is happy with you,” Museveni said.

[email protected]


Advertisement