Local printing industry players have urged the government to rethink its decision to give all printing deals to state-owned media companies and the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (UPPC).
Recently, President Museveni ordered all government ministries, departments and agencies to print from the two agencies and benefit from the over shs50 billion spent annually on printing work alone.
In his directive, the president said he met the board members and management of the Vision Group who sought his help in securing printing work from the government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
“They indicated to me that they have, over the years, invested over Shs 45 billion in three state-of-the-art printing presses, making them one of the biggest printers in the region. However, they notified me that, whereas, MDAs spend over Shs.50 billion annually on printing work alone, very little of this work, goes to them and the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation(UPPC) in Entebbe,” Museveni said.
He explained that since Vision Group and UPPC are majority government owned companies, it was important that the government supports them.
But private players told The Nile Post that this directive has greatly affected businesses.
The chairman Uganda Printing and Packaging Association (UPPA), Archy Kiwanuka said, this directive has greatly impacted the sector since they are just from Covid-19 lockdowns.
“We have people that we have employed but we don’t know what steps we are supposed to take because now we are becoming idle. It was unfairly done because when you look at the capacities of the two entities that were given the work, they can manage. Evaluation was not done before the directive,” he said.
John Walugembe, the executive director Federation of Small and Medium Size Enterprises (FSMEs) said, without looking at statistics Museveni’s directives is not practical and it is disadvantageous to the local economy.
“We are not opposing and we recognised that those government entities have also built capacities and they deserve the portion of this work but we can reach a fair agreement on this matter. We are in the private sector led economy, ”he said.