UGANDA, Lyantonde | Real Muloodi News | The government has purchased 300 items of construction machinery and equipment through the National Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation Skills Enhancement Project, to advance technological and skill development and increase Ugandans’ capacity to take part in important national manufacturing and infrastructure projects.
The construction machinery and equipment is a part of the USh435 billion project run by the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST), which aims to assist Ugandans in developing their skills to participate in important economic sectors.
The UNCST procurement officer, Mr Paul Okiria, stated at a site visit in Lyantonde District that the equipment, which will be used on a lease-and-use basis, will allow Ugandan contractors to compete with other international companies in completing large infrastructure projects.
“I have been in this business of contracts for long but at times you sympathise with our local companies. You find it hard to award a contract to a local firm that is competing but just a tractor and perhaps a truck. But with this project, our local firms, individuals and even local governments, they can rent or lease the equipment to undertake major infrastructural projects,” he said adding that some neighbourhood businesses, including National Enterprise Corporation, have already shown an interest in renting some of the machinery.
Okiria pointed out that a pricing structure has not yet been developed but said that the cost of leasing or renting out the equipment would depend on how long a business or individual plans to use it.
Due to the limited ability of domestic contractors to undertake mega projects, foreign businesses, particularly Chinese ones, dominate large infrastructure projects.
Excavators, compactors, hoists, water vehicles, and ancillary machines are some of the equipment.
According to Mr Gerald Tumwine, a mechanical engineer with the UNCST, they will provide skill training on using and maintaining this equipment to businesses that rent or lease it as part of improving local capabilities.
According to Mr Jossy Muhangi, UNCST’s Head of Communications, the equipment was purchased as part of the project to improve technique and skill development while also increasing local company participation in large infrastructure projects.
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