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Minister Lugoloobi calls for investigation into local content bill

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  The Minister of State for Finance in charge of Planning Hon Amos Lugoloobi has called on lawmakers to conduct a thorough investigation into the local content bill arguing that as it stands 90 percent of the proposed law is related to hiring The Private Members Bill seeks to impose local content obligations on a person who uses public money or uses Uganda s natural resources or carries out an activity that requires a license Furthermore it aims to ensure that Ugandan citizens residents and businesses are given priority in government procurement It also seeks to ensure the transfer of skills and technology to Ugandans as well as provide provisions for the development of local content plans supervision coordination monitoring and implementation of local content Lugoloobi said that what is in the bill is not comprehensive enough to cover local content issues He made these comments while appearing before the Finance Committee to present the Ministry s views on the bill on 09 August 2022 Lugoloobi also advised MPs not to pass a provision prioritizing Ugandan goods and services during procurement saying that this contradicts the East African Community Protocol on open access movement of goods and services The protocol deals with the free movement of goods and services and cannot be legislated against We sent legislators from here to the East African Legislative Assembly and now here we are with legislation that unites us he said He said the matter should be left at the policy level pending consultation with the Minister for East African Community Affairs We shouldn t escalate this to a level where we legislate for it we can safely handle it Making it a law will be a very big contradiction and very soon it will be challenged in court he said Committee Chairman Br Kiwanuka Keefa however wondered why Uganda should not prioritize its goods and services during procurement and yet other East African Community EAC countries are prioritizing theirs He said that Tanzania has a local content law that makes it difficult to purchase goods and services from other countries even if they are within the EAC Even in Kenya they are developing the local content bill We are talking about goods that are produced in Uganda and in accordance with the Investment Code which allows goods from across the East African Community said Keefa Kiwanuka Committee Vice Chairman Hon Jane Pacuto Avur said that each EAC country was left to legislate on matters of procurement of goods and services to decide and manage Producing this law will not have an impact on the EAC Protocol she said Hon Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi NUP Butambala County proposed the incorporation of the Investment Code in the bill In addition to the outright rejection of the clause we can see how we can borrow that provision that defines a local investor and address the minister s concerns Muwanga Kivumbi said
Minister Lugoloobi calls for investigation into local content bill

1 The Minister of State for Finance in charge of Planning, Hon. Amos Lugoloobi has called on lawmakers to conduct a thorough investigation into the local content bill, arguing that as it stands, 90 percent of the proposed law is related to hiring.

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2 The Private Members Bill seeks to impose local content obligations on a person who uses public money or uses Uganda‘s natural resources or carries out an activity that requires a license.

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3 Furthermore, it aims to ensure that Ugandan citizens, residents and businesses are given priority in government procurement.

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4 It also seeks to ensure the transfer of skills and technology to Ugandans, as well as provide provisions for the development of local content plans, supervision, coordination, monitoring and implementation of local content.

5 Lugoloobi said that what is in the bill is not comprehensive enough to cover local content issues.

6 He made these comments while appearing before the Finance Committee to present the Ministry’s views on the bill on 09 August 2022.

7 Lugoloobi also advised MPs not to pass a provision prioritizing Ugandan goods and services during procurement.

8 saying that this contradicts the East African Community Protocol on open access.

9 movement of goods and services.

10 “The protocol deals with the free movement of goods and services and cannot be legislated against.

11 We sent legislators from here to the East African Legislative Assembly and now here we are with legislation that unites us,” he said.

12 He said the matter should be left at the policy level pending consultation with the Minister for East African Community Affairs.

13 “We shouldn’t escalate this to a level where we legislate for it, we can safely handle it.

14 Making it a law will be a very big contradiction and very soon it will be challenged in court,” he said.

15 Committee Chairman Br. Kiwanuka Keefa however wondered why Uganda should not prioritize its goods and services during procurement and yet other East African Community (EAC) countries are prioritizing theirs.

16 He said that Tanzania has a local content law that makes it difficult to purchase goods and services from other countries even if they are within the EAC.

17 “Even in Kenya, they are developing the local content bill.

18 We are talking about goods that are produced in Uganda and in accordance with the Investment Code which allows goods from across the East African Community,” said Keefa Kiwanuka.

19 Committee Vice-Chairman, Hon. Jane Pacuto Avur said that each EAC country was left to legislate on matters of procurement of goods and services to decide and manage.

20 “Producing this law will not have an impact on the EAC Protocol,” she said.

21 Hon. Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi (NUP, Butambala County) proposed the incorporation of the Investment Code in the bill.

22 “In addition to the outright rejection of the clause, we can see how we can borrow that provision that defines a local investor and address the minister’s concerns,” Muwanga Kivumbi said.

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