HON JACOB OBOTH OBOTH LAUNCHES NEC-WATU VEHICLE FILTERS AND AIR CLEANERS FACTORY IN MBALE.
The Minister of State for Defence and Veteran Affairs (MoDVA), Hon Jacob Oboth Oboth, On the 31st January 2024, launched the NEC-WATU automobile filters and air cleaners at Mbale Industrial Park.
The Minister was received by the Managing Director -National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) and the Chairman of NEC-WATU, Mr Liu Qingshan.
NEC-WATU is a Joint Venture between NEC and a Chinese Company -WATU established for the development and management of automobile-related industrial projects in Uganda.
Hon Oboth Oboth appreciated the partnership between NEC and WATU and observed that their innovation has made a big impact on the automobile sector in Uganda and the Government would be eager to see more of those innovations.
The Minister appreciated the growing friendship Uganada and China share that has given birth to so many market innovations.
The Minister observed that the strategic partnership between the two countries has revolutionized and brought development closer to the people.
The Minister urged innovators to use that example as an inspiration that they could create work and bring in more investments.
The Minister commended the efforts of the investors in choosing Uganda as their home for businesses in Africa.
The Minister further informed the investors that their belief in investing in Uganda is what keeps our country doing better and that as a government they are fully committed to supporting innovations in science and technology.
The Minister urged Ugandans to embrace BUBU and Buy Africa Build Africa (BABA).
On his part, Lt Gen James Mugira thanked the Minister for finding time off his busy schedule to come and grace the function of unveiling to the public one of the products of NEC’s Joint Ventures, NEC -WATU, the automobile filters and air cleaners.
Gen Mugira informed the Minister that the commissioning of Phase 1 filters was a big milestone in the history of the automobile industry in Uganda.
Gen Mugira thanked the partners, NEC-WATU for their willingness to work with NEC and share their experiences, technology and expertise and assured them of NEC’s reliability.
Gen Mugira further thanked the partners for their trust and confidence in NEC, promised that they would find serious and reliable partners and pledged NEC’s support in making the partnership a success.
Gen Mugira informed the Minister that the factory can produce 3000 vehicles annually and 1.5 million filters a year.
Gen Mugira informed the investors that Uganda has a competitive advantage because it has an educated population, a skilled or skill-able population, increasing household purchasing power that would help in providing the markets.
Gen Mugira was optimistic that the challenge of relying on others and importing used products that are dangerous would soon stop because the factory would be producing new vehicles made in Uganda, environmentally friendly and even easy to operate.
He further observed that this would help save foreign exchange which we have been using to import vehicles.
Gen Mugira observed that the factory will provide employment, bring products closer to the people, and contribute to Uganda’s industrial base.
He thanked the leadership of Mbale for the support they gave to the industrial park.
On his part, Mr Liu Qingshan said that the day was worth celebrating because of witnessing the inauguration of the NEC-WATU automotive project support system – the Filter Factory Phase One.
He said that this marks the official launch of the NEC-WATU automotive project and also signifies a new force in Uganda’s automotive industry.
He promised to present this milestone as a gift to President Yoweri K. Museveni, in recognition of his triumph as the Chairman of the G77, and also as respect to the diligent and benevolent people of Uganda.
He pledged to use his knowledge which he acquired four decades of experience in the automotive industry, with my team, to wholeheartedly serve and tirelessly contribute to the advancement of Uganda’s automotive sector.
He pointed out that NEC-WATU is a state-owned entity of Uganda and assured the Minister that the achievements they celebrate today, the successes we anticipate tomorrow, and the future glories we aspire to, would eternally belong to our nation and its people.
Lt Gen James Mugira was accompanied by his Deputy, Major Gen (Rtd) Innocent Oula.