Minister urges locals to emulate businessman

Hotel Komar in Lira City, which was launched in October last year. Insert: Mr Jimmy Omara and Gender Minister Betty Amongi at the launch.  

What you need to know:

Ms Betty Among wants the residents to learn from Mr Jimmy Omara’s rags-to-riches story

Regardless of your current economic condition, where you live, or what you do, you can become wealthy.

This is according to Mr Jimmy Omara, a man who started out selling jerrycans and this is why Gender Minister Betty Amongi wants residents of Lira to emulate him.

Mr Omara now owns a four-star hotel in Lira City, northern Uganda.

He recalls that he was a no-body who moved from his home village and settled in present-day Lira City, about 15 kilometres away. This was some 20 years ago. However, life in Lango’s principal trading centre became difficult for the disadvantaged young orphan.

“I could hardly afford two meals a day. One day, my landlord confiscated my few household possessions after I failed to settle accumulated rent arrears. I had gone for three months without paying rent of Shs4,000 per month,” he recalls.

Given his poor academic background, securing a job was a tug-of-war for him. But the orphan never gave up in life. He sourced some money and resorted to buying and selling empty jerrycans.

Luckily enough, his hard work and determination soon paid off, changing his life forever.

Besides owning a four-star hotel, Mr Omar also owns an oilseed factory in Lira, where he continues buying empty jerrycans, fills them with edible cooking oil, and sells them to transporters.

“Currently, I am employing more than 1,000 Ugandans. I know many people have established giant hotels but for me, I thank God for the small one I have built in Lira City East Division,” he says, attributing his success to hard work and support from friends and relatives.

Mr Peter Ocen Akalo, the Kole South Member of Parliament, urges people to emulate the resilience of Mr Omara, who lost his parents at a tender age but went on and made it in life.

“What he (Omara) has done should inspire all the orphans that even if you have no one to turn to, you can still survive and contribute to the development of the nation,” he says.

Minister Amongi, while officiating at the commissioning of Hotel Komar on October 29, 2023, thanked the business community for supporting Mr Omara.

“Special thanks go to former minister of State for Housing and Urban Development Sam Engola, businessmen Geoffrey Etwop and Patrick Olet and I would like to thank the landlord who gave him the space for establishing the hotel,” she said.

According to the minister, part of the money used for establishing Hotel Komar was a loan borrowed from the banks.

Mr Lawrence Egole, Lira Resident City Commissioner, said the business community has continued to do a lot of work to ensure that Lira competes with other cities such as Mbarara, Jinja, and Kampala.