President Yoweri Museveni has said that the construction of the railway in the country will go along way in lowering transport costs. The project will also support the industrialization programme in Uganda.
The President made the observations when he received a progress report of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project, presented to him on Thursday at State House, Entebbe by the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) Ltd. The delegation was led by the Company’s Africa Vice President, Mr. Lin Yichong.
Museveni who launched the US$3.2 billion Standard Gauge Railway construction in October 2014 thanked the Chinese Company for the wonderful job done so far.
“There is a lot of infrastructure deficit in Uganda. If we start on a clean slate we can more and more projects,” he said.
The President commended the company for inviting local suppliers to show them business opportunities in the SGR project.
He welcomed the investment plans of the company in Uganda such as the building of an industrial estate around the railway and a city in Mukono, the Kampala City complex and a railway polygenic school to train engineers to maintain the railway. According to plans, 15,000 Ugandans are expected to be trained.
The China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) Ltd has invested nearly US$ 30 million so far in preparatory work for the SGR project, including feasibility studies and training 500 Uganda People’s Defence Forces’ (UPDF) soldiers in railway engineering, among others.
The Vice-President of CHEC for Africa, Mr. Lin Yichong, pledged his Company’s commitment to deliver strong economic infrastructure transformation to Uganda in a transparent manner devoid of corruption whereby local materials and indigenous Ugandan labour force will be harnessed to create jobs for the people of Uganda.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Hon. Matia Kasaija, the Attorney General, Mr. William Byaruhanga, the Minister of Works and Transport, Engineer Monica Ntege Azuba and Secretary to the Treasury, Mr. Keith Muhakanizi, among others, attended the meeting