What you need to know:
- Ms Rosemary Nyakikongoro, the Committee Chairperson said that having industries with the potential to promote skilling programs and providing jobs but frustrated by the inadequate power supply is counterproductive.
The Parliament Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs has recommended the speedy upgrade of the power grid at the Nakasongola-based industrial hub to boost the production lines affected by persistent power blackouts.
The Luwero industries, a subsidiary of the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) under the Ministry of Defence has a consortium of industries dealing in the manufacture, fabrication and assembling of goods including; explosives, consumables, electronic waste management, hardened tools and Ammo production. Its output is hampered by the unreliable electricity supply from the power main grid.
Ms Rosemary Nyakikongoro, the Committee Chairperson said that having industries with the potential to promote skilling programs and providing jobs but frustrated by the inadequate power supply is counterproductive.
“We have industries that produce Oxygen and Nitrogen, Surgical face masks among other goods but they are challenged by the poor electricity supply. When we talk about the different power dams and their capacity to produce enough electricity, the power should be able to be utilised,” she said.
Ms Nyakikongoro added that until their field visit on Friday, they did not know what was taking place at the Luweero industries and the capacity of the respective industries to propel the industrial revolution in Uganda to its height.
“We are producing a lot of electricity from the different power dams. We also need to recapitalise some of the enterprises, focusing on the relevancy in proving employment and skilling for Ugandans,” she said.
The defence industries under the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) carry the country’s manufacture and production franchise for the ammunition and related explosives, championing vehicle manufacture and assembling, produce oxygen and nitrogen among other services.
The NEC Managing Director, Lt Gen James Mugira, told the Committee that the power challenge and inadequate budget provision from government is among the great challenges despite the many achievements.
“We have Kira Motors where the industry has orders for the buses. We are also involved in carpentry among other production and manufacturing services. We need about 10 Megawatts to run the industries. We currently use about 0.5 megawatts supplied but they are inadequate,” he said.
State Minister for Defense and Veteran Affairs Ms Huda Oleru Abason said that the Luwero Industries is among the Ministry of Defence enterprises that need Parliament support for budget allocation to boost the skilling projects.
The budget allocation for the Luweero Industries stands at Shs2bn, the money that management at Ministry of Defence industrial hub say is very little compared to the expected output.