Local contractors under their umbrella body, the Uganda National Builders and Civil Engineering Contractors, UNABCEC are demanding that government awards all construction contracts below Shs 30 billion to local contractors.
They also want 30% of all works that are awarded to international companies to be sub contracted to local contractors.
The contractors made these demands during the UNABCEC Annual general meeting at Silver Springs, Bugolobi
Over 94% of all road construction works contracts in Uganda have been awarded to international companies and only 6% of them are given to local contractors in a given financial year.
Government has always fronted that argument that local contractors lack enough capacity and expertise to handle complex projects therefore creating fear about their competence.
The competitive bidding conditions demanded for by those awarding contracts have made it difficult for local contractors to compete favourably with other international companies.
Local contractors under their umbrella body, the UNABCEC says as a means of empowering the capacity of local contractors, government should award all contracts below Shs 30 billion to local contractors.
The contractors also want government to build the capacity of local contractors by giving at least five local contractors an opportunity to construct 5KM of roads every year as part of the bigger goal of empowering the local contractors.
In addition they want access to cheap credit from the Uganda Development Bank.
The construction industry has for long remained unregulated attracting unqualified contractors and engineers to enter the business resulting into shoddy works. They now want a law to manage the industry.