Delay in SGR Project Good For Uganda
One of the leading economist in East Africa. Jibran Qureishi hailed Uganda for not borrowing from China to finance the not stalled Standard Gauge Railway(SGR) Uganda needs about eight trillion shillings to construct the standard railway running from Malaba to Kampala.
The government of Uganda has been looking to Chinese government a to finance the multi-billion-dollar project through China Exim Bank. The Construction of the line should have been completed by June this year if finances were available.
Some have urged government to fats track the construction saying the railway will ease transportation of goods from Mombasa to Uganda.
But he regional economist for East Africa at Stanbic Bank, Jibran Qureshi says Uganda has a huge lesson to learn from Kenya's Standard Gauge Railway projects.
He warns that if the region fails to take right decisions in infrastructure investment and borrowing, the hard working tax payers will definitely get affected over a long period of time.
Jibran says one should not get surprised in future when the governments increase taxes like Value Added Tax(VAT) and other consumption taxes. He said it only those taxes that they government will be able to repay the loans and debts.
He suggests that the ministry of finance in Uganda and e East Africa should consider employing experts to evaluate projects before they borrow.
Recently the World Bank refused to finance a railway project from Tanzania's capital to Morogoro because the Bank's evaluators did not see economic sense in spending over one billion dollars to connect the two cities.
Uganda has also borrowed from China and other sources to finance hydropower dams like Isimba and others. But Jibrani Qureishi like other economists have question such borrowings.