Parliament skeptical Supporting 100BN for National Housing Before Sorting out Legalities with Libya
The State Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development Hon Persis Namuganza has said the government is working out ways to pay off the Libyan government so that Uganda can retain 100% shares in the National Housing and Construction Company (NHCC).
Minister Namuganza’s remarks were in response to concerns raised by MPs on the parliamentary committee on Physical Infrastructure over why parliament should allocate 100BN shillings to (NHCC) with two shareholdings.
MPs queried the status of ownership of (NHCC) noting that it is irregular to allocate the budget of 100BN shillings to an entity with double Shareholding because the government of Libya still retains shares in NHCC yet it longer contributes to its running.
“We have discussed the matter in the cabinet before, though it has not been fully resolved because the President had instructed the Minister of Finance and the Attorney General to meet with the representatives of Libya and find a way on how we can fully pay them off so that we retain 100% of shares holding” the Minister explained.
She added that the matter has stalled due to the political crisis in Libya as the Finance minister and the Attorney General had reported that there is still confusion on who of the two governments in Libya is the original Shareholder. She however noted that the president had assured the cabinet that there must be a way to clear the Libyans off for Uganda to take over NHCC 100%.
MPs said, with the Libyans still beneficiaries, it is irregular to fund the company because, under the law, the Libyans are entitled to part of the profits the company makes.
The committee Chairperson Robert Kafeero Sekitoleko said that giving (NHCC) 100BN without first acquiring 100% shares would be a disservice to Ugandans since Libyans will also want to take a share of the money.
“Hon Minister, let us agree in this committee, we are going to write to you as a committee stating our position very clearly that unless you Resolve that issue of legality and ownership, we do not give you the 100BN; so, the sooner you resolve it the better” Hon Kafero noted.
The government of Uganda owns 51% shares of the company while the government of Libya owns 49%.
According to the Chief Executive officer of the company Eng. Mr. Kenneth Kaijuka, ever since the national housing and construction Company (NHCC) was divested as a limited liability company in 2002 (19 Years to date) the company has never accessed any funding through the National budget to implement its vision of using homeownership to Enhance household wealth and living standards for every Ugandan.
He said the company has the capacity to roll out massively in all regions of Uganda once there is an adequate budget.
The company has not derived benefits from the shareholding given that soon after the divesture, political turmoil ensured in Libya led to economic and political sanctions leading to recognition challenges of the shareholder.
The Libyan shareholders have since failed to effectively participate in the business affairs of the company and the sanctions have equally, head negative impact on the profit of the company hence limiting opportunities for partnerships and international funding.