As I have been repeatedly informing the Ugandans, the NRM has been a mission ─ oriented organization from the very start, in the 1960s, as a student Movement, coalescing out of the old political Parties: the Democratic Party (DP), the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) and the Kabaka Yekka (KY).
I have re-read my book: “Sowing the Mustard Seed” to ensure that there are no mistakes of fact or punctuation.
I am very happy that, at last, there is an accurate record of the events of the recent history of Uganda. All the major events we have come through and the underlying currents are captured. Those who are interested can read those facts for themselves.
What is clear is that, at every stage, we have been identifying the “what”, the “how” and the “who”. We distilled the four principles: patriotism, pan-Africanism, socio-economic transformation and democracy. We identified the method of struggle, a protracted peoples war.
When we won the victory, we were able to identify the ten strategic bottlenecks including the lack of infrastructure and the low level of the development of the human resource (education and health for our people).
On account of handling the relevant issues correctly, the economy was able to recover and we were able to reasonably expand the tax-base.
As a consequence of that, we have been able to handle the infrastructure (the roads, electricity, the ICT backbone, some aspects of piped water, education and health facilities) and peace (by handling defence and law and order). The roads are improving, we are beginning to have a surplus of electricity as I told you during the State of the Nation address and we are working on mordenizing the railway.
By 2020, we shall start pumping out our oil. Even at the low price of US$50 per barrel, if we shall be pumping 30,000 barrels per day for the refinery and 170,000 barrels per day for the pipeline and the total will be 200,000 barrels per day, that will give us an additional income of US$3 billions per year. The Government portion of that money will be US$2.1billions which is 70%.
With that additional money, we shall be able to easily deal with the issue of funding innovation by our scientists, capitalizing the Uganda Development Bank (UDB) so as to support the manufacturing activities as well as some aspects of agriculture, capitalize the National Housing Finance Bank so as to enable them to fund low cost housing for the people, fund some elements of the infrastructure, etc. etc.
We are, however, not going to wait for the oil money to develop our country. Using our non-oil revenues, we are already doing commendable work. I am, however, not satisfied with the 4.6% rate of growth that we achieved this financial year. Even the rate of 7% is not satisfactory to meet. We must go to double digits rates of growth in order to transform our society rapidly. Since 2006, we have been insisting on prioritization in the use of the budget resources.
The Hon. Matia Kasaija, Member of Parliament for Buyanja county, is going to read my detailed statement because he is familiar with the issues, ever since being in the cabinet some years back. In my statement, the MP for Buyanja will give the logic of this budget. To summarize, the logic of this budget is, on the one hand, to continue expanding the base of the modern economy so as to lower costs of doing business in Uganda and, on the other hand, to attract more and more investors in manufacturing, services and ICT. These operators must be assisted to come in the economy easily and quickly.
As I told you in the State of the Nation address, the culture of buying without selling must be reversed. Kugula without kutunda is a recipe for failure. I am seriously engaging KACITA (Kampala City Traders) on this. When I talk of selling and not only buying, you should not think that I am only talking about import ─ substitution. We shall work for exports all over the globe and not just exporting unprocessed coffee and cotton, but exporting final products e.g. textiles, processed fish, processed milk and milk products, vegetables oil, etc. Some companies are already doing this.
Fine Spinners have already exported 2.5 million pieces of T-shirts to Europe and East Africa and, they are planning to double their exports to 5 million pieces of T-shirts by next year. Nytil is exporting in the region. Milk factories are exporting milk and milk products to Kenya, South Sudan, Congo, Tanzania, Sudan, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Nigeria, Syria, USA and other COMESA countries. Uganda’s processed fish has for long been exported to the European Union – 80%, Japan – 4%, UAE – 5%, USA – 4% and others (Israel, Asia and Middle East) – 7%. Anybody who obstructs investors in any way will be dispensed with.
Then the budget also aims at modernizing agriculture by continuing to vigorously convert the dormant 68% of our homesteads from subsistence farming to commercial farming. This is where Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) comes in and the focusing I talked about last time ─ not “trying to be everywhere and ending up being nowhere’; “cutting off completely one finger of the enemy than just injuring all the 10 fingers”. Therefore, the “what” and the “how” of today are encapsulated in developing infrastructure, industrialization, developing the services sector and ICT. The Honourable Member of Parliament for Buyanja will give the details.
As to the “who”, the answer is simple and unambiguous ─ those who are not corrupt and who are fast movers. Our teachers in the primary schools in Ankole could write on a child’s report “nayekurira” (he/she is slow). That would not be good for that child. I remember the children who would get such reports dropped out of the system along the way. The ones, on the other hand, who would get reports reading: “aine omujinya” (he/she has enthusiasm for study and work), ended up going far.
The ones who would get reports reading: “timwesigwa” (he/she is not trustworthy) did not even finish the primary schools in most cases. That answers the question of the “who” ─ trustworthy and enthusiastic for work i.e. corruption-free and fast moving. We are competing for investments with other countries. How can it be otherwise?
This, mainly, involves expanding the infrastructure and also availing affordable finance for borrowing so that investors can access affordable finances.
Apart from the infrastructure and affordable finance, there are also software issues! Corruption, delays, red-tape, duplication of roles, etc., etc. In this term (Kisanja), I will not tolerate any of these weaknesses.
Madame Speaker, acting in accordance with article 99 (4) which empowers the President to exercise functions conferred on him either directly or through officers subordinate to the President, now permit me to invite the Honourable Member of Parliament for Buyanja to read my statement on the 2016/2017 estimates in details, as required under article 155 (1) which provides that: “the President shall cause to be prepared and laid before Parliament in each financial year, but in any case not later than the fifteenth day before the commencement of the financial year, estimates of revenues and expenditure of Government for the next financial year”.
I thank you and wish you good listening.
Speech by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA at The reading of the National Budget – FY 2016/2017 Kampala – 8th June, 2016