Ugandans should buy locally-made products under the Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) initiative to strengthen the country’s economy, create jobs and wealth, President Museveni has said.
The President made the call recently as he commissioned a Health Care Division at the Southern Range Nyanza Limited (NYTIL) in Jinja.
“I am always fighting people wasting our money buying things from outside. Why don’t you buy things here?” he asked.
Nytil’s healthcare division is a medical sundries manufacturing facility worth USD 3.6 million.
The facility produces among others medical-grade cotton wool for both the local and regional markets.
The unit also has a state-of-the art Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Masks manufacturing facility worth USD 4.0 million.
The President, who revealed that Nytil was once a government company, applauded Mr Kishor Jabanputra, the chief executive officer, who took it over from government, for maintaining, and expanding the factory.
“I am very happy because I captured these people from Rwanda. Kishor is a clever man and when he came here, he said Ugandans were sleeping because we had good cotton which is a profitable product. I encouraged him to come and take over Nytil,” said Mr Museveni.
The President said the textile industry was a real goldmine and once exploited to full potential, Uganda would need about 10 massive textile factories.
Mr. Museveni repeated his call to government institutions to implement the BUBU policy and support home-grown manufacturers.
Leading by example, the President bought a military sweater made at the facility at a cost of UGX100,000, saying, “All these products like tents, sweaters, protective gears, masks etc. should be bought here.”
Agriculture State Minister Aggrey Bagiire said the President’s efforts to support local manufacturers was paying off since companies like Nytil were producing products that can be exported even to the European markets.
“Mr. President you have done this country proud. Thank you for being a visionary leader. Please continue with your efforts, we are behind with you,” Bagiire said.
CEO Kishor Jabanputra said the new investments were dedicated to the President’s selfless efforts for industrialization.
“You inspired us to invest in this new facility and we did that in a record 60 days during the Covid-19 lockdown,” Mr. Kishor said.
He said the factory produces one million pieces of three-ply surgical masks every week, 500,000 pieces of KN95 masks and 50,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) pieces.
Nytil, said the CEO, now employs over 3,000 people and has a target of creating more 5,000 job opportunities for Ugandans in the near future.
Mr. Kishor requested Government to help market their products to other African countries, especially the PPEs and masks.