President Yoweri Museveni has said that radio stations that fail to comply with this duty of promoting interests of public service should be closed.
He also said that Uganda is being transformed through the private sector led growth.
“If you have to develop the country, we must do it through the private sector led growth. This is opposed to the old practice of running parastatals that were being subsidized by Government. The private sector policy was first implemented by the NRM Government in 1987,” he said.
The President, who was accompanied by the 1st Lady, Hon. Janet Museveni, made the comments as he officially opened a one-day workshop on value for money, monitoring and evaluation of Government projects held at the Conference Hall of the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala.
Permanent Secretaries, Chief Administrative Officers, Town Clerks, District and Municipal Engineers as well as District and Municipal Procurement Officers attended the workshop.
Mr. Museveni stressed that it is the duty of public servants to enable the private sector create jobs and wealth. He observed that the main effort must be in the private sector. He, therefore, called on Officers to go back and use the radio stations in their localities in order to mobilize wananchi. He said that the radio stations must be used to promote interests of public service. He warned that radio stations that fail to comply with this duty would be closed.
The President reminded the delegates at the workshop that there are 5 main sectors in the country that can be used to create employment and wealth namely agriculture, small and large-scale industries, services, Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Public Service. He, however emphasized the main sector is commercial agriculture. He challenged Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) to stop being what he called ‘Chief Conservators of Poverty (CCP).’
He gave the example of Kityerera Parish in Mayuge district in Busoga Sub-Region,that has 4,000 homesteads out of which only 200 were engaged in wealth creation. He noted that such a situation should not be allowed to continue whereby the remaining 3,800 homes there were mere spectators.
The President was, however, pleased to note that some progress is being recorded in household income generation activities in various parts of the country. He cited Mr. Jjuko of Bukomansimbi district who produces coffee and milk, and generates Shs.100 million per annum from 20 acres of land, as one of the examples of people that have income generation activities. He reminded the workshop that small-scale farmers must be sensitized about cultivation of high value crops.
Mr. Museveni expressed strong confidence that small scale farmers stand the opportunity to increase their incomes through the production of coffee, fruits, food crops, rearing of dairy cows, goats and poultry. He encouraged the people that live near the swamps to practice fish farming adding that the activity is a sure good income earner. He challenged the CAOs and other leaders to mobilize wananchi in household income generation projects adding that the package of eliminating household poverty was launched in the NRM’s 1996 Manifesto.
The President stressed furthermore that all Ugandans must encourage the proliferation of both small and large-scale industries. He, therefore, directed Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) to work with local leaders to promote industries. He also tasked Municipalities to identify pieces of land to be used as industrial parks. He directed the Minister of State for Privatization and Investment, Hon. Evelyn Anite to facilitate investors with electricity and water supply once such pieces of land are availed.
He observed that the population has the potential to generate good income through such services like hotels, banks, shops and schools.
Turning on further empowerment of the youth, Mr. Museveni noted that they can earn good income through Business Processing Outsourcing (BPOs) arrangements. He said that BPO facilities from overseas international firms provide employment opportunities that the youth should take advantage of. He also told the workshop that Public Service is another employment sector that has about 400,000 people. He encouraged the people to utilize it although it has a smaller employment capacity when compared to the rest of the other sectors.
Addressing himself further to the private sector, the President reiterated that it is the one area that can create jobs in the country. He urged administrators in the country to appreciate their crucial role in ensuring peace. He informed them that no investor can put his resources in a place that is insecure. He also called on CAOs to fight crime and to the Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) to ensure that there is no lawlessness in their areas.
He asked security officers in particular to use dogs as part of their tools in their investigations adding that the Police must stop motorcycle riders and establish their movements, especially at night, in order to ensure that crime is eradicated.
The President told the workshop that the private sector needs enough and cheap electricity. He expressed pleasure that the country is today enjoying surplus of electricity supply. He assured them that Government would find a solution to the challenge of generating more power. He revealed that a new steel industry would soon be set up in Tororo district and that the manufacture of glasses would also commence soon. He observed that since the country has got got electricity it is time for Uganda to take off.
On Transport, the President observed that investors need low cost transport means. He gave assurances that the NRM Government has worked on this issue though the provision of good roads. He, at this juncture, revealed that the Government is working on availing cheap credit to facilitate industries and other businesses.
Regarding value addition, the President said it is a vital component in the development efforts. He observed that the export of raw materials is nothing but a curse for Africa. He revealed that a team of investors would soon launch coffee processing in the country. He castigated some politicians in the country who attempted to export iron ore to India at only US$38 per ton instead of opting for processed iron that would fetch Uganda US$900 per ton. He reiterated that the country needs value addition and stop the export of raw materials.
On graft, President Museveni strongly condemned corrupt officials. He said that he has banned the purchase of foreign products by Government that are available and can be produced by the local industries. He reminded the workshop that if they buy from the local people, the country would prosper.
Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, revealed that the NRM Government has identified the bottlenecks that hinder development in the country. He said that measures have been taken to deal with those inhibitions.
State Minister for Planning, Hon. David Bahati, said that Government is diligently trying to ensure efficiency in the procurement process. He disclosed that emphasis would be put into the potential of e-procurement and that the new procurement policy is a target to be implemented within 2 weeks.