President Museveni has said the issue of high commodity prices is small and will soon be dealt with easily.
“I have fought bigger problems like going to war without ammunition, so this high commodity prices is not as big but what I don’t want to happen is the lack of food,” Museveni said while delivering the State of the Nation Address on Tuesday.
The president said having done a careful analysis of the situation, government has decided to avoid tax waivers and provision of subsidies but rather adopt other strategies.
He noted that one of the strategies is talking to global actors like Russia and the US.
“I have contacted some of the actors. I am glad H.E. Biden is going to Saudi Arabia, to meet the Crown Prince to get OPEC to pump more petroleum out of the ground. That would definitely help. Also, the Chairperson of the AU,H.E. Mack Sall, met H.E. Putin in Sochi, Russia to ask him to assist in getting the wheat of Ukraine out of the Ports of Odessa and he has also talked to the Europeans to stop sanctioning wheat from Russia and fertilizers because Africa needs them. This is one of the correct ways,” Museveni said.
“This is one of the correct ways. We shall use diplomacy to solve problems caused by these people.”
He noted that the other solution is ensuring Uganda gets her own substitutes for bread and wheat including cassava and banana flour.
“The other one is to get our own substitutes – cassava and banana flour for bread and our own sunflower, soya beans oil as we wait for our more quantities of palm oil from Sango Bay, Mayuge, Buvuma, Maruzi and Bundibugyo.”
Tax waivers suicidal
Museveni reiterated that government will not offer tax waivers of subsidies because this is suicidal and would lead to collapse of the economy.
“Cutting taxes or subsidies, especially on imports, is suicidal because our people may buy carelessly and we end up draining our forex reserves. Moreover, cutting taxes or subsidizing, means taking away money from planned projects and putting it in consumption – fuel, bread, etc and that means, we stop, for instance a number of road projects.”
“Uganda is on the right path and has been for the last 36 years. We only need to be mindful of three points: the environment, corruption and chauvinism in business. You have seen what can happen to countries when they cannot produce their own food. There is no problem Uganda cannot solve, as I have stated above, as long as we are able to produce most or all of our food,” Museveni assured.