By: Ismael Kasooha
Uganda’s Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja has assured Ugandans that the new Parish Development Model (PDM) will bridge the financial services gaps that have kept some people in the non-cash economy.
“Our people have been fleeced of their hard earned property because of the high interest rates the money lenders are charging and even using dubious methods to deprive them of property,” said Nabbanja.
Nabbanja was on Sunday addressing Christians at Naminya Catholic Church in Buikwe District during the mass.
She said that the NRM government through the wise advice of President Yoweri Museveni decided to take money to the parish so that the common person can access it and engage in productive work.
Nabbanja said that starting this month the government will disburse sh17m to every parish in the country and in the subsequent years sh100m will be sent to every parish for people to access finances that have no strings attached.
“The public was complaining that money is shared between the leaders at the district and Sub County but now the president decided to bring the money to you at the parish so that you don’t have any excuse for remaining outside the cash economy,” said Nabbanja.
Nabbanja asked the public to embrace government programmes that are meant to uplift them from poverty such as the PDM.
Nabbanja said that the people of Buikwe are naturally endowed with Mabira forest in the west and river Nile in the north but have remained trapped in poverty just because of their mindset.
“We need to refocus our efforts on increasing household incomes by engaging in high value crops especially as land increasingly becomes scarce,” said Nabbanja.
She said that it is illogical for a person with one acre of land to grow maize because such a person will remain poor but if he/she can grow onions, tomatoes or Irish potatoes or vegetables such land can give them good money.
“In an acre of maize one can only get between 10-15 bags and each 100kg bag goes for sh70,000 and when multiplied the farmer gets between sh700,000 and sh1.5m for a period of 5 months and this cannot create wealth. But if you grow onions and get 30 bags and each goes for sh250,000 that is already sh7.5m from just one acre,” explained Nabbanja.
The State Minister for Finance in charge of planning, Hon. Amos Lugoloobi said that if Ugandans remain poor even the government will not collect enough revenue from taxes to fund the development ventures in the country.
Lugoloobi asked Ugandans to accept payment of taxes because they are for their own good.
“Our people are used to opposing every tax that is brought by the government but there are countries such as Ireland that pay over 70% as income tax and people have not opposed such,” said Lugoloobi.
Jimmy Lwanga, the Njeru municipality MP said that they are proud of Nabbanja for making the Office of Prime Minister pro-people unlike in the past when accessing the premiers was very difficult.
Nabbanja contributed sh10m towards the ongoing construction of Priests’ residence at Naminya Sub Parish in Lugazi Diocese.
The mass was celebrated by the Vicar General of Lugazi Diocese, Rev. Fr. Dr. Richard Kayondo.
Over 20 Million shillings was collected during the function.
The Mass was attended by Lwanga Jimmy Lutwama MP Njeru Municipality, Kanabi Jimmy LCV Chairperson Buikwe among others. End