Uganda: Increase Wages Only After Making Profits, Museveni Tells Investors

Buikwe — President Museveni has asked investors to increase their employees' wages only after making profits, warning that doing otherwise will lead to their collapse.

Mr Museveni was on Tuesday speaking to hundreds of investors and the business community at MMP (Magan Meghji) Industrial Park in Buwampa Village, Nyenga Sub-county in Buikwe after opening eight factories in Jinja and Buikwe Districts.

The President's advice came after the area LC1 Chairman, Mr John Ezadri, called on government to prevail on investors to increase their employees' wages.

"Salaries should depend on the profitability of the enterprise; if the enterprise is making profits, there is no reason as to why the pay shouldn't go up. It (salary) increment should match the profits of the enterprise otherwise it will collapse and both the investor and employees lose," Mr Museveni said.

Earlier, Mr Museveni who arrived in Jinja at 3pm had commissioned eight factories including Nile Aluminum Limited, Nile Batteries, Nile Wheat, Auromeera Paper, Modern Distillers, Modern Laminates and Nile Water among others - all located in Jinja and Buikwe Districts.

Twenty five factories are expected to be constructed at MMP Industrial Park which sits on 1,000 acres; however, five factories are already under construction including Modern Rubber, Modern Allied and Modern Engineering Shed.

Mr Museveni hailed Mr Patel Magan, the Chairman of Modern Group of Companies for being a model development partner.

Mr Patel, who has set up 26 factories and employing 12,000 people, plans to add 25 more factories at the park. This, President Museveni said, will turn the region into an industrial town.

"The plan now is to move away from retail towns to industrial towns. Jinja has been known for retail shops which employ about two to three people; industrial towns employ thousands," Mr Museveni said.

Adding: "Western countries like Japan have developed because of investors and have more jobs than manpower, the reason Ugandans go there for odd jobs (kyeyo).

President Museveni promised tax incentives to all the occupants of MM Industrial Park. "They (investors) will get incentives given to all other parks like Kapeka and Mbale."

"We are not interested in direct taxes, but can get that tax indirectly from consumers of commodities like beer (alcohol), Mr Museveni said.

Mr Jay Patel, who spoke on behalf of Modern Group, said plans are underway to set up a spin milling company to offer school uniforms at 50 per cent market price and manufacture hard-to-import tyres for big trucks.

Ms Evelyn Anite, the State Minister for Investments, said upon her appointment to that docket about five years ago, she was tasked to set up 25 industrial parks but 17 have so far been established.

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