- Kiira Motors in partnership with the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) engineering brigade under the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) is constructing a vehicle production plant at the Jinja Industrial and Business park
- By end of March 2019, Shs 19 bn had been released to Kiira Motors Corporation under Vote 023-Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation out of which Shs 15 Bn was transferred to the National Enterprise Corporation to start construction of the Kiira Vehicle Plant Start-Up Facilities
By Moses Sserwanga
Kampala- Government will make favourable policies for Uganda’s nascent automotive industry to make it competitive and become a major contributor to the country’s industrial program, the Prime Minister of Uganda, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has said.
Dr Ruganda made the statement today while receiving a brief from the Kiira Motors management team led by the company’s Executive Chairman, Prof. Standy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa about the progress made towards commercialisation of the Kiira electric vehicles project – one year since cabinet approved the funding. The meeting held at the Prime Minister’s offices in Kampala, was also attended by the Kiira Motors Chief Executive officer, Mr Paul Isaac Musasizi.
“We should be in position to encourage the purchase and driving of locally made cars whose prices should be competitive. Government officials and Ugandans should be in position to drive cars produced by Kiira Motors with pride just like it is in Malaysia and another car production countries.”
In order for the vehicles plant construction work to be completed on time, Dr. Rugunda said that there shouldn’t be any funding gap especially where there is an already approved roadmap for the Project. “The Ministry of Finance should release all the funds according to the approved roadmap so that there is no funding gap that will affect the set targets for completing this important national project on time,” Dr. Rugunda stated.
Cabinet on 9th April 2018 approved the Roadmap for the Commercialization of the Kiira Electric Vehicle Project with a seed fund of Shs 143.7 Bn to set up and kick start operations of the Kiira Vehicle Plant for a period of four years. So far, government has released Shs.24bn for the financial year 2018-2019 and another Shs 44bn is expected to be provided in the financial year 2019-2020.
Dr Rugunda was responding to Prof. Tickodri’s remarks where he indicated that the Ministry of Finance was yet to make a commitment to the additional funding of Shs 20 bn to make it Shs 44bn required in the financial year 2019-2020. The Prime Minister noted that while Kiira Motors was at the heart of Uganda’s industrial and transformation agenda, it should produce cars that are durable and competitively priced for the local market.
“There is no doubt that Kiira mission will create jobs, increase incomes and become a source of national pride. we should all support it,” he added.
While highlighting the progress so far made in the implementation of the commercialisation of the Kiira Electric Vehicles project, Kiira Chief Executive Officer, Mr Paul Isaac Musasizi, said that close to 1,000 jobs will be created during the capital expenditure and operation phases of the project.
Musasizi said that 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.
The works were executed by Kirchof Technician Ltd. a local power-line contractor under the supervision of UMEME. Musasizi said Kirchoff Technician employed 32 Ugandans during the execution of the works and the project is subject to a defect liability period of two years upon handover. This Project was Funded by Government through Makerere University.
He further said that the construction and installation of a 5.4km long 6-inch water pipeline connecting the plant site to the municipal water supply system was also completed, tested and commissioned by NWSC.
The project which was carried out by GETS Technical Services Ltd. another local contractor under the supervision of NWSC, employed 18 Ugandans and was also funded by government through Makerere University. Similarly, Makerere University and Freen Contraction signed a contract for opening of key roads at Kiira Vehicle Plant Site (Dual carriage Principal Road – 2.44km long and Classified Road – 350m long) in March 2018.
The Prime Minister was informed that Kiira Motors Corporation and National Enterprise Corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Construction of Kiira Vehicle Plant Start-up Facilities-Phase I -based on the Force Account Mechanism, a procedure that is provided for in the PPDA Act and was approved by the Solicitor General.
Musasizi noted that in the course of third quarter (March 2019), Uganda Development Corporation transferred Financial Assets worth Shs 1.7 Bn to Kiira Motors Corporation through the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation.
“The funds, had been allocated for the Kiira Vehicle Plant site clearance, drainage and fencing and have since been transferred to National Enterprise Corporation for the execution of the works.”
At the site the UPDF shall construct an assembly shop, offices, research and development Space, materials storage areas, overhead water reservoir, container yards, finished vehicle park yard, and a plant monument; construction and installation of servicing facilities including the plant campus circulation roads, power distribution, water distribution, I.T network backbone, drainage and waste (Water and Solid) management systems.
The defects liability period shall be for 12 months commencing on the date of Practical Completion of the Project. The CEO said that NEC shall employ 324 Ugandans during the construction phase who will include 180 from the UPDF Engineers Brigade and NEC, and 144 from the local community in Jinja who will provide causal labour.
In order to ensure local content participation by Ugandans, NEC shall source locally construction materials (Marram/Gravel-840,000Tonnes, Sand-800,000Tonnes, Cement-5,000Tonnes, Aggregates-217,000Tonnes, Hardcore-140,000Tonnes, Timber, Structural and Reinforcement Steel, Iron Sheets-52,000Sheets, Chain-link, Furniture, PPE, Plumbing estimated at over Shs.28bn.