Govt pledges to bail out Magoola
What you need to know:
- Mr Magoola, who owns Dei BioPharma Ltd in Matugga, Wakiso District, made headlines during the Covid-19 pandemic when he introduced an investor, who claimed to be having drugs to treat the deadly Coronavirus. Works on Mr Magoola’s Dei BioPharma plant in Matugga were commissioned by President Museveni in July 2021.
Finance minister Matia Kasaija has said the government will bail out Mr Mathias Magoola to enable him complete construction of his pharmaceutical plant in Matugga, Wakiso District.
Mr Kasaija yesterday said the government would bail out Mr Magoola, but he didn’t disclose the amount that they are to give him.
“Don’t ask whether we shall consider (Mr) Magoola’s request. We have already considered to co-invest with this investor,” Mr Kasaija said when contacted.
“I don’t know how much he needs because I hear $400m [Shs1.5t), others are saying $600m [Shs2.2t] and I will also not tell how much the government will invest in this project but the decision has been already taken. We must co-invest with him because he is doing a very wonderful job,” he added.
Mr Magoola, who owns Dei BioPharma Ltd in Matugga, Wakiso District, made headlines during the Covid-19 pandemic when he introduced an investor, who claimed to be having drugs to treat the deadly Coronavirus. Works on Mr Magoola’s Dei BioPharma plant in Matugga were commissioned by President Museveni in July 2021.
Yesterday, about 15 Cabinet ministers led by Mr Norbert Mao (Justice and Constitutional Affairs) and Dr Monica Musenero (Science and Technology) toured Mr Magoola’s pharmaceutical company in Matugga. The ministers’ visit was to make an assessment whether the project is worth government funding.
Mr Magoola told the ministers that he borrowed Shs368.7b ($100m), then got Shs73.7b from Uganda Development Bank and Shs7.3b from Tropical Bank to cater for the initial development of the project.
However, he said he wants a bailout of $600m to complete the project as well service the outstanding loans he earlier secured from various financial banks.
The factory was expected to produce cancer drugs, malaria drugs as well as high quality vaccines including Covid-19 vaccines. Equally, the proprietor estimates that it will be able to employ about 2,000 Ugandans in various fields. The project also has a projected revenue of $5b in five years.
While commissioning the Shs1.8 trillion Magoola’s vaccine manufacturing facility in July 2021, President Museveni who was accompanied by then Kenyan Vice President (now President) William Ruto assured the investor that Uganda would provide all the necessary assistance, including raw materials, to ensure success of the project.