By Joseph Omollo
President Museveni has said that Ugandans have failed to overcome poverty because they have failed to adopt modern agricultural methods to get better yields.
“The problem with Ugandans is they are big headed. That’s is the reason why the adaption rate of modern agricultural practices is very low and this has made it difficult for them to earn incomes from their small pieces of land,” Mr Museveni said.
He was Tuesday addressing residents of Putir Vllage, Tororo District, during the opening Simba Cement Factory.
“Uganda is one of the richest countries in the world blessed with numerous natural resources, which cannot be exhausted within the shortest period of time,” he said, adding that the future of the country lies in industrialisation.
He said the government is partnering with other countries to exploit her natural resources in order transform the economy.
“You need roads. We are working on them including Standard Gauge Railway line,” he said.
He said the business community should not worry about high power tariffs.
“You don’t have to worry about that because we expect electricity costs go down after the completion of the many dams we are constructing,” Mr Museveni said.
The new cement plant worth $45 million (169.2 billion) which is owned by National Cement Company Uganda Limited, is expected to double the production capacity to 1.5 million metric tonnes from the current 750 million metric tonnes annually and to create over 300 jobs.
Mr Narendra Raval, the chairman of Simba Cement Company, said the increase in production will save Uganda’s foreign exchange spent on importing cement from Kenya, China and the Middle East.
“The company’s objective is not after making profits but ensuring the availability of quality and cheap cement to allow all Uganda access building materials at a cheaper price,” he said.
He said: “Despite all the challenges that the industry faces ranging from high electricity and transport costs that would make its final product more expensive, we are dedicated to stick to our price of Shs25,000 per 50 kilogramme bag,’’ he said.