Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner General, John Musinguzi Rujoki has described the on-going construction of the UGX 30 billion Gulu Logistics Hub as a game changer that will further facilitate regional trade and benefit all stakeholders.
The Commissioner General made these remarks while touring the Gulu Logistics Hub which is at 65 per cent and scheduled for completion by September, 2021. The Gulu Logistics Hub is located on a 24.1 acres piece of land in Layibi division, Gulu Municipality which was allocated by the Uganda Railways Corporation.
“On completion, this project will change a number of things. It will be the main import and export hub for this region, South Sudan, and DRC. This project will also lower the cost of doing business, create employment and benefit the local community,” Mr Musinguzi said, adding:
“The issue of the access roads is under Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA). But because URA is a government agency, we shall engage with the relevant agencies of government particularly UNRA and Ministry of Works to see how the access roads can be fast-tracked so that when the Gulu Logistics Hub is ready in September, the roads are also available.”
TradeMark East Africa, with joint funding from the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) (USD 3.2 million) and the European Union (USD 5.2 million) is financing the construction of the Gulu Logistics Hub to the tune of about USD 8.4 million. That is about UGX 30 billion.
“The Gulu Logistics Hub will help with cargo distribution in northern Uganda, DRC, South Sudan and the Kenya market. The expectation is that this will address logistics challenges, create employment and also boost our Agriculture produce in northern Uganda,” Damali Ssali, the acting country director for TradeMark East Africa noted, adding:
“This multimodal project will be serviced by both road and railway. The railway is being revamped by Uganda Railway Corporation from Tororo to Gulu which on completion will further support the Gulu Logistics Hub. As noted by stakeholders, there are some concerns about the access road but these will be addressed by UNRA and Ministry of Works.”
Dr. Merian Sebunya, the chairperson of the National Logistics Platform revealed that the private sector is happy to see the government finally focusing on empowering and developing the private sector with major projects like the Gulu Logistics Hub.
“We hope this project will also focus on local content. Government can own this project but it should consider unbundling the services at the Gulu Logistics Hub and have them operated by Local Content.”
On behalf of the funders, Christine Mugoya – an Economist at United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) emphasized that the Gulu Logistics Hub is key to improving Uganda’s competitiveness and market access to Uganda’s neighbours specifically South Sudan and DR Congo. “It is also very important for the improvement of the movement of goods along the northern corridor to Mombasa and beyond. As such, it is one of our priority projects being funded during this phase of the TradeMark EA program implementation. It is very important that this project is delivered on time – September 2021.” Christine Mugoya said.