We are getting ready to, first of all, repair and start using the old railway lines to Malaba from Kampala, to Pakwach from Tororo and to Kasese from Kampala, President Museveni announced on Tuesday.
Speaking at Independence Day celebrations in Kyotera district, Museveni said even using the old line to Mombasa, is cheaper than using the road.
With the Standard Gauge now in Nairobi, it costs US$5 cents per metric tonne transported on the railway compared to US$ 15 centsper metric tonne transported on the road.
With the completed Standard Gauge Railway the rail transport will cost US$ 8 centsper metric tonne compared to US$ 21 cents per metric tonne on the road.
“However, when we are dealing with the Railway, Electricity and ICT backbone, we must ensure the final price of the utility is competitive because those elements are dangerous cost-pushers.”
He said high electricity, transport and internet costs will not allow Uganda to industrialise.
Therefore, the cost of money and the structure of ownership should never be allowed to interfere with this strategic aim.
When the NRM came to power in 1986, the economy had collapsed due to past tyrannical rulers who did not care about upholding the sovereignty of our motherland.
“By financial year 2005/2006, our tax revenue collections per annum, were standing at Shs. 2.23 trillion.”
At that time, an understanding had been reached between some branches of the government and the development partners to the effect that the government of Uganda should concentrate on handling the recurrent budget (salaries, etc.), while the development partners would handle the development budget (roads, electricity, the railways, etc).
He said investments in the roads and electricity, along with the earlier decision (2001) of strengthening the Army, are beginning to result in the resumption of our usual high growth rates.
This year, for instance, the economy will grow by 5.8% per annum. This will rise to over 7% per annum by the financial year 2019/2020.
Indeed, a Centre at Harvard, in the USA, recently predicted that Uganda will be one of the fastest growing economies in the world by 2026 or thereabout.