Yes, you read the headline right.
The prime plot occupied by Bank of Uganda along Kampala Road needs to be converted into a multi-storied parking yard for the taxpayer to get value for his taxes.
I am serious.
The other day I had a conversation with an economist over a business venture I am trying to get into. As I explained my plans, the resources I need, the capital and labour he cut me short with one question: “Have you conducted the cost-benefit analysis for your project?”
I told him mine was a private venture not a public project.
Yet this question kept ringing in my mind as I reflected on the issues of Bank of Uganda, the chief supervisor of our economy.
The bank has been in the press recently for all the bad reasons: Currency scandal, recruitment saga, missing files etc..
Each year, the tax payer spends billions on Bank of Uganda, meeting the hefty allowances and salaries for the staff, paying for the fuel guzzlers driven by the top bosses. What do they get in return?
Scandal after scandal!
For me as the Rogue (and I could be wrong), my basic understanding of economics is that one should not keep pumping money in a venture that shows little or no sign of promise.
Why does the tax payer waste billions of money on a bank that appears intent can’t look after our money?
So if I may ask, does it still make economic sense to have the central bank in the middle of the city, occupy prime space that would give us better returns if put to other uses?
Would the central bank function differently if say, its headquarters were shifted to Nakapiripirit? Would inflation shoot through the roof because of this change?
Would the sun rise from the West and set In East if the bank is relocated?
My view is that the current plot occupied by Bank of Uganda, we should construct a multi storied parking yard like those we see in the UK, US or even in Kenya.
This would not be a ludicrous thing, like some of you may be thinking. Already government is government that is willing to sacrifice the beauty of Murchison Falls in exchange for a power plant whose capacity will not be able to run five factories the size of Roofings Uganda.
Never mind the impact this would have on tourism revenues. What is more ludicrous than this?
Back to my point. A ten story parking lot with the ability to accommodate 300 cars on each level can generate more money and more positive vibes than the central bank.
It would have a maximum capacity of 3,000 vehicles If each of those vehicles were to pay a minimum of 5000 per day, that would translate into Shs15 million (I hope my mathematics is good) and roughly 450 million per month.
Assuming it employs ten people with each getting Shs 500,000 per month, that would translate into a wage bill of Shs 5 million.
Add Shs 10 million for power and water, and another Shs 5 million for security, that would total to Shs 20 million.
So the net income for government would be Shs 430 million per month. It can also serve as a tourist attraction of sorts (I have seen people touring some Arcades and taking selfies in the corridors).
The money generated from this lot can be put to better use other than meeting the hefty allowances of people who have failed to preside over our economy.
The only scandal we can get out of a parking yard is a missing side mirror or at worst, a stolen Premio or Toyota Wish.
Yet in comparison, these would not come close to the multi-billion scandals that have engulfed the central bank over the last couple of years.
The Rouge is a satirical column that runs once a week on the Nile Post.
Contact author on +256-788179369/752195226