President warns against political interference,
says high power tariffs slowing down industrialization
January 12, 2013-01-12
President Yoweri Museveni has warned leaders against cheap politicking and political interference calling on them to reorient society from laziness and parasitism to production and generating of profits in the respective enterprises.
“Let’s learn from our past mistakes. When talking to people, we should not mislead them. Am tired of cheap politicking. Honourable members you have a contract with God. Out of the 33 million people, you have been chosen, don’t misuse this chance. This is a rare chance, don’t misuse it,” he said.
The President said while education and health have improved they do not create wealth (money-income) in the short run.
“Healthy people work better if they are motivated and properly oriented. Healthy people can, however, also waste their productive time in bars, playing pool or watching European football matches even during working hours. In that case the people will be healthy but not productive. Similarly, you can get educated people, either in liberal studies or sciences, but who fail to get an entrepreneurial frame of mind. Nevertheless, generally speaking a healthy society which is also educated is better than an illiterate and sickly one. However, the whole society needs to be re-oriented away from laziness and parasitism to production and generating of profits in the respective enterprises,” he said.
The President said he has been listening to the intoxication by leaders about oil, saying while he discovered oil using our scientists, he does not talk about it.
“Assume we will get out 2billion barrels out of the 3.5 because you can’t pump out all the oil. At US$100 a barrel that will be 200bn dollars over a period of 40 years extraction. This is not a lot of money. It is nothing for a country.. Go on the internet and research this. Me am computer illiterate am comfortable with my head. South Korea which has no oil earns over one trillion. But honourables, bishops, kings all talking about 200bn dollars for 40 years. Am sorry for this country. Am very, very, sorry for this country. I will counter those people, we shall counter you and educate our people, detoxicate them from what you are planting in their heads,” he said.
The President emphasized that oil is a windfall and should be used as a catalyst. The actual wealth of Ugandans is not in the oil, it’s not enough. Money from oil can’t be equal to that from industrialization.
The President emphasized the need to support scientists by increasing their salaries describing them as a gold mine for Uganda. He said the country now has enough electricity despite the high power tarrifs that are slowing down production, adding that the high power tarrifs are because it is the private sector that is investing in the sector using loans that they need to recover and also make profits.
“It is better for government to build the dams using oil money,” he said.
The President warned against political interference, urging leaders to make a decision about the Lugazi industrial hub.
“I can’t go on begging as if you are doing this for me. Amuru sugar factory is being opposed by parliament. Somebody who blocks development and yet comes to get money from the consolidated fund whose money is from factories. If you don’t want money, why take the parliamentary pay. You are making Uganda lose that advantage and behaving as if this is the only place where they can invest. Can you imagine sugar production being blocked by members of parliament?,” he said.
The President said there was attempted political interference with the palm oil project in Kalangala but government insisted.
“You can imagine the change that has taken place there, the MPs from there should tell us how they have transformed. Why should I beg to put factories for our people, why? Why? The caucus of the NRM in parliament must take a stand on this. The President said ministers were timid and could not explain such issues to the masses because they fear Ssekikuubo to attack them. Let him talk, we shall answer him,” he said.
The President also cited the Kilembe mines which have been dormant for 40 years has been delayed for investment by the Chinese allegedly because of PPDA rules.
“If you make a decision, stand by it. If it is wrong, someone will correct it. Now they are hiding behind PPDA, a law we put there to deal with buying. PPDA is not about investment, it is about promotion. This is disorientation. Kilembe mines needs investment, it is not a procurement issue. We are only lucky because our neighbours still have security problems. Serious investors will go away and you remain with quacks,” he said.
The President was speaking at the opening ceremony for a retreat of the NRM parliamentary caucus in Kyankwanzi which is aimed at enabling the members appreciate the need for industrialization and job creation as a spring board for economic development. It is also aimed at appreciating the budgeting process for better service delivery.
While responding to MP Banabas Tinkasiimire about the Presidents stay in power saying 30 years was a long time and wondering why such a person never gets tired, the President said 30 years was inaccurate and that he has been in the struggle for 50 years, 20 years in the bush and 30 years around town.
According to the records the NRM government under President Museveni’s leadership has seen the size of the economy grow to US$ 20 billion from 5billion in 1986. There is a total of 1,355 kms of new tarmac roads with another 1,621 kms of old tarmac roads repaired since 1986. Electricity generation expanded from 60 MW to 812 MW today, infant mortality is now 54 per 1,000 born alive children compared to 122 per 1,000 born alive in 1986, average life expectancy is now 50.4 years for both female and male compared to 43 years in 1986 and the percentage of people below the poverty line is now 24.5% compared to 56% in 1986.