The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde has called upon Ugandan contractors and service providers to join the fight against corruption that has made the bidding process too expensive and has increased the cost of implementing contracts.
The Minister made the call while addressing the media ahead of the First Uganda Contractors and Providers Summit 2019 that will take place on December 12 and 13 this year at the Kampala Serena Hotel.
The summit is organized under the theme; “Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) from a Contractor’s Perspective”.
It will provide a platform to address issues affecting local contractors including; Eligibility, Taxation, Compliance, Finance, Capacity building, Contracting Opportunities & Accessibility, Public Procurement Cycles and creation of a viable road map for the growth of Uganda Contractors.
The Minister who is the champion of the BUBU policy noted that since the implementation of the policy commenced, government has organized most players into associations with the aim of providing a conducive trading services policy to regulate and protect service providers in any sector.
Kyambadde noted that BUBU as well creates a platform for contractors to expand their production so as to improve on the export to the regional markets.
“If you are a contractor, don’t only look at Uganda, you should look at even other areas but we are saying that let Uganda give you a priority to your services and let it be a platform to you to be able to capture other markets in the region,” Kyambadde said.
Kyambadde said the Ugandan contractors cut a cross a number of sectors in the country’s economy and there are a number of laws and regulations that are put in place to protect them in their activities.
“There is the amendment of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA) Act which provides for Preference and Reservation for local contractors as well as the BUBU Policy among other policies that protect local content,” the Minister said.
Kyambadde noted that despite a number of laws and regulations in place, there is still a lot of ignorance and lack of awareness of their existence among the contractors and service providers.
The summit will be able to provide all the necessary information to the contractors so as to create awareness to contractors of their rights and entitlement as provided by the different laws, regulations and policies, she said.
It will also address mechanisms of reducing non-tariff barriers that contractors face on the day to day basis while executing their obligations such as the increased bureaucracy.
“You find contractors running from one Ministry to another looking for one signature for a year or a number of months. There are a number of middle men within the bidding process who have continually exploited contractors making the the process too expensive,” Kyambadde said.
“There is increased corruption, every step a contractor makes, he has to give bribe and that is why there is increased shoddy work because the contractors spend a lot of money in bribes. The time is now to stop this vice and this forum will work towards that,” Kyambadde noted.
Kyambadde added that the forum will focus on reducing limited accessibility to sufficient financial services to contractors and service providers.