Today, 21st November 2019, the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development; Hon Matia Kasaija and his delegation visited Kiira Start-Up Facilities site in Jinja Industrial and Business Park. He was received by Brig Moses Ddiba Sentongo-the Deputy Managing Director who represented Lt Gen James Mugira-the Managing Director-National Enterprise Corporation(NEC), Undersecretary Ministry of Science and Technology and the Board Chair and CEO Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) respectively.
The Minister appreciated KMC and NEC for the great work so far done. He pledged his support to make sure that the project runs as scheduled. He emphasised the need for innovation, " a society that doesn't innovate is a dead society ". He said. He was happy with the local content being mobilised for the project. He said that 5-7trillion shillings go to infrastructure developments to foreign companies and profits repatriated back and wondered how much positive impact it would have created if the companies were indigenous.
On his part, the MD -NEC, thanked the Minister for finding time off his busy schedule to come and check on the progress of this National Strategic Project.
He thanked the Minister and H.E the President for the Strategic vision and decision to develop our own Automative Industry, and Industry that began more than 150years ago with horseless carriage and has grown exponentially to now self driving cars otherwise known as autonomous car or robo or robotic car.
He informed the Minister that it was a shame that a country like Uganda with all the Human Resource-very brilliant Engineers could not assemble a vehicle in this century when the developed world is developing the Driverless cars. He thanked the Minister for taking a decision at a strategic level to manafure vehicles here in Uganda as re-affirmation of our belief in our worthiness as a people, our capabilities, competencies that will no doubt propel our country to greater heights.
Through the Minister, he thanked the leadership of this country for the trust and confidence in the capacity of UPDF/and NEC to deliver this important project.He re-echoed the Minister's concerns on profit repatriation by foreign companies and personnel, ' Hon Minister, I believe you are also happy that funds you allocated this project are going to remain in the country as opposed to what has been happening before, where you borrow funds from abroad and the lender even follows that money here and does the job and finally repatriates back the profits'. He called on Ugandans to believe in themselves and do the work by themselves and achieve true independence. He informed the Minister that UPDF has never and shall never disappoint Ugandans. He emphasised, 'it is a pledge we made before, we are making now and live by'.
He also informed the Minister that NEC through its subsidiary Luwero Industries partnered with KMC to assemble the first buses Kayoola at Luwero Industries facilities in Nakasongola and there is positive progress. He requested the Minister for continued and increased financial support because it's NEC desire that a number of of the vehicle parts and accessories be fabricated/manufactured by our Engineers.
He thanked Kiira Motors Corporation team led by Prof Tokodri and Eng Isaac Musasizi for the drive, commitment, determination and energy put in this project. He assured the Minister that that that was the best team any country would have wished to put together to deliver such a strategic project.