The Uganda National Association of Building and Civil Engineering contractors has embarked on a campaign to improve on the relationship between local and foreign contractors.
For long time, local contractors have been demanding that government start entrusting them with major pubic infrastructure projects however government says they lack the capacity to handle such projects.
Civil engineers and contractors have been demanding that government introduces a policy that favours local contractors ahead of foreign firms.
According to the executive director of the association, Elizabeth Muhebwa, sidelining the contractors is killing the sector.
She said:”In this initiative we are not competitors and we need not to look at ourselves as competing,these people have potential to do big projects.”
She noted that international contractors have capacity to do big jobs and there some of the upcoming contractors who are not yet able to do handle such big projects done by international companies.
“We need to strengthen this initiative. We are sure that our upcoming contractors will also gain experience and at one time they will be able to deliver such magnitude of projects,”she said.
The remarks were made when local contractors visited the projects being handled by foreign and local firms in Mbale and Soroti.
Meanwhile foreign firms welcomed the move noting that it will strengthen the sector.
David Muguusi,the safety manager Tirinyi Nakalama Road, said the relationship with subcontractors is very good.
“One thing we need to note is that the subcontractors are locally sourced. They are local subcontractors, so our relationship with them, we try to improve on a daily basis by engaging them. Teaching them what we don’t like from them and tell them what they are supposed to do,”he said.
Among the projects visited was the UPDF helicopter facility which is under construction in Soroti.
Under the current law at least 30% of the work on major infrastructure work must be subcontracted to local firms.