By SHABIBAH NAKIRIGYA & OTAGE STEPHEN.
The Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has instructed his undersecretary to write to President Museveni requesting for Shs 143.7 billion to capitalise Kiira Motors vehicle plant in Jinja.
Speaking to a delegation from Kiira Motor Corporation which had visited him yesterday to raise the matter, Dr. Rugunda said Kiira Motor Corporation is a project of national importance which should not be sabotaged and government should find money to capitalise the corporation because it is a corporation of national pride, and national accomplishment.
“Draft a letter to Minister of Finance, copy in the President and Minister of Science and Technology and of course prepare it for my endorsement so that they can budget for this money. This project must not fail,” he said.
His instructions follow revelations by Prof. Sandy Tikodri Togboa the Kiira Motors Board Chairman who informed the Prime minister that in the 2019/2019 national budget, the 24 billion shillings which they anticipated has not been fully released yet they are in their third quarter .
According to Prof Tikodri, this financial year, government was supposed to allocate Shs. 24 billion for the FY but only Shs 19b was released and they are worried if the project which hopes to create 2,000 direct jobs and 12,000 indirect jobs will be done in the estimated time.
Mr Paul Musasizi the Chief Executive Officer Kiira Motor Corporation said the four years project was allocated Shs 24b in year 2018/19, Shs 44b in 2019/20, Shs 43 bn 2020/21 and 32.7 in 2021/22 and this money will cater for three aspects which include the : construction, plant machinery and start up operating capital.
“So far the construction and installation of a 3.7km long 33kv medium voltage electricity line connecting the Kiira Vehicle Plant Site to the national electricity grid was completed tested and commissioned by UMEME funded by government through Makerere University,” He added
Mr. Musasizi added that there is also installation of a 5.4 km long 6-inch water pipeline connecting the plant site to the municipal water supply system was completed and we expect to sign one commercial agreement with a vehicle assembling technology transfer whose name withheld before this year ends.
Last year the ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development approved the feasibility study for the setup of the vehicle plant and later the cabinet approved the road-map for the commercialisation of the Kiira Electronic vehicle project.
The cabinet also authorised the Minister of Science Technology and innovation to put in place the necessary institutional frame work for the commercialisation of the vehicle project.