Local printers have urged the government to reconsider its decision to award all printing contracts to state-owned media firms and the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (UPPC).
President Museveni has ordered all government ministries, departments, and agencies to print through the two agencies in order to take advantage of the roughly Shs50 billion spent annually on printing alone.
The president stated in his directive that he met with the board of directors and management of the Vision Group, who requested his assistance in obtaining printing business from government ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs).
“They told me that they have invested about Shs 45 billion in three state-of-the-art printing presses over the years, making them one of the region’s largest printers.”
“However, they informed me that, despite the fact that MDAs spend over Shs.50 billion yearly on printing work alone, they and the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation (UPPC) in Entebbe receive very little of this work,” Museveni stated.
He explained that the government’s backing was critical because Vision Group and UPPC are majority-owned by the government.
Private players, on the other hand, informed bazzup that the directive has had a significant impact on their businesses.
According to Archy Kiwanuka, chairman of the Uganda Printing and Packaging Association (UPPA), this directive has had a significant impact on the sector, which is still recovering from Covid-19 lockdowns.
“We have individuals working for us, but we’re not sure what steps we should take because we’re getting bored.” It was done unfairly because the two entities who were assigned the assignment have the capacity to handle it. “There was no evaluation done before the instruction,” he claimed.
According to John Walugembe, executive director of the Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (FSMEs), Museveni’s directions are not practical and are detrimental to the local economy.
“We are not opposed, and we recognize that those government bodies have also established capacities and deserve a share of this job, but we can come to an equitable arrangement on this.” “We live in a private-sector-led economy,” he explained.