Kampala- State minister for Privatisation and Development Evelyn Anite has said power tariffs will be lowered with effect from 2018.
She said the move is meant to reduce production costs for the small and middle scale producers to boost local entrepreneurs’ productivity.
“We are working on reducing power tariffs from 11 cents to at least 5 cents. This will encourage more entrepreneurs to come on board more so the local producers,” Ms Anite said.
Speaking to entrepreneurs and businesspeople at the third edition of the Private Equity and Venture Capital conference organised by the Uganda Investments Authority at the Kampala Serena Hotel on Wednesday, the minister said the move to bring up entrepreneurship among Ugandans has been and is still priority for the government.
“It has come to our notice that one of the challenges facing Uganda in the sect of entrepreneurship is high cost of production which is partly caused by the high power tariffs,” she said.
The executive director at Enterprise Uganda, Mr Charles Ocici, said beside the other factors of production, the constraints in the business sector is the cost of power.
“Much as we don’t have enough capital, land that is being invaded every day, labour that is not skilled but with the growing trend in technological advancement…there is certainly need for power and affordable power for that matter,” he said.
He added that corruption is what is destroying developmental entrepreneurship as a lot of money does not reach where it is supposed to be since the owners of the businesses are not willing to be audited by private auditors.
Ms Anite encouraged the youths to come up with more innovative business ideas so as to be helped by the government.
“In my area when the Youth Venture Capital Fund was introduced by government, we gave Shs19m to the youths and after a short while nothing was seen to have started. I lobbied for more funds and we were through the Youth Livelihood Fund given Shs53b but this also has lived to see no impact, so we have decided to go practical and through that is helping grow entrepreneurship indirectly through cutting the power tariffs,” said Ms Anite.
At the same event, Ms Anite hinted that the government is planning to have every Ugandan to own a Uganda Telecom (UTL) line for the sake of patriotism.
“We are discussing on this move and you know it’s meant to strengthen our patriotism. One can have the other lines but knowing that the UTL line is part of us and our own initiative, it will bring patriotism amongst us,” she said.