The Head of State House Investors Protection Unit (SHIPU), Col. Edith Nakalema, has expressed concerns over the inability of local inventors to access loans under the Agricultural Credit Facility and Small Business Recovery Fund due to unfavourable processes.
Col. Nakalema, while speaking to domestic investors from various sectors and policymakers on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, at the State House Investors Protection Unit offices in Kampala, said local investors struggle with getting loans.
“The Agricultural Credit Facility has not been accessed well by the beneficiaries; farmers are complaining,” said Col. Nakalema.
She stated that there is a need to examine small and medium-sized firms for special financing; otherwise, the country is losing them, yet they are needed for economic development.
Nakalema called upon local investors to remember the obligations they must fulfil as businesspeople, adding that when they borrow, they must pay back without suffering or being put under pressure. She noted that, as Ugandans, they have an obligation to pay taxes for the development of the economy.
“My commitment is that I will try my level best to ensure that all issues reported to us as a unit are attended to, to ensure that the economy runs smoothly,” said Nakalema.
John Rujoki Musinguzi, Commissioner General of the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), said that local investors are the backbone of the economy and are appreciated for their contribution towards the economy in paying their taxes.
“The Authority recognises the challenges you face when it comes to paying taxes, and such meetings give us an opportunity to find solutions to those challenges. We are carrying out taxpayer engagements so that we treat you fairly; we are doing it sector by sector,” said Musinguzi.
Musinguzi advised the investors that taxes, when well handled, will not kill businesses, but errors will.
Thadeus Musoke Nagenda, the chairperson of the Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), expressed concern that many local investors are closing businesses due to the unfavourable cost of accessing loans.
However, he pledged to work with SHIPU to empower local businesses in the country.
The meeting was attended by officials from the Chamber of Commerce, the Uganda Registration Service Bureau (URSB), the Uganda Millers Association, and Uganda tailors, among others.