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Construction of UGX 41Bn Security Printing Factory Starts

Babalanda says that the factory will reduce the cost of printing documents, facilitate the elimination of falsification of information on security documents, and be a source of revenue from the issuance of E-Passports, National Identity Cards, driver’s licenses, and other security documents and also build the capacity of Ugandans in security printing.
Guests led by Minister Milly Babalanda at the unveiling of the project

Audio 5

The Presidency Minister, Milly Babirye Babalanda has flagged off the construction of the Shillings 41 billion security printing factory for Uganda Security Printing Company Ltd-USPC in Entebbe Municipality in Wakiso district. 

According to Babalanda, the project that is just less than a Kilometer from the State House will be completed in 2023.   The security printing factory will print passports, driver's licenses, and national Identity Cards among other security documents. The printing factory and associated facilities will occupy three-quarters of the 4.4 -acre-piece of UPPC land.  

The existing UPPC structures, except the new administration block and the building behind it, will be demolished to pave way for the new project being undertaken by the National Enterprise Corporation-NEC and Technology Associates, the commercial arm of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF.

Babalanda says that the factory will reduce the cost of printing documents, facilitate the elimination of falsification of information on security documents, and be a source of revenue from the issuance of E-Passports, National Identity Cards, driver’s licenses, and other security documents and also build the capacity of Ugandans in security printing.

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The factory will be managed by the Uganda Security Printing Company Ltd USPC, a joint venture between the state-owned UPPC and German consortium Veridos GmbH. George Mugerwa, the Managing Director of USPC, says that the project has two components including construction and equipment. 

He says that the shillings 41 billion for construction will be generated internally from the issuance of E-Passports and driver’s licenses. Mugerwa says that the remaining Shillings 66billion for equipping the factory will come from a loan, which they are yet to secure. Babalanda says that the Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja has advised USPC to borrow the Shillings 66billion from Uganda Development Bank-UDB instead of commercial banks whose loans attract high-interest rates. 

Kenneth Geoffrey Oluka, the Acting Managing Director of UPPC, says that the construction of the USPC security printing factory within the precincts of UPPC offices in Entebbe is historical. "It is a historic and momentous occasion for UPPC and USPC and indeed the government as it heralds the beginning of a new era of modern state-of-the-art, high-tech security printing in our beloved country, Uganda...as the majority shareholder in this joint venture, we pledge to fulfill our obligations to ensure the success of this project and other future projects.

Oluka said that the project is a double blessing because the UPPC is celebrating 120 years of existence this year. He is however sad that only one of the seven buildings in UPPC will remain to accommodate a museum for all equipment used since 1902.

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Oluka is optimistic that the security printing factory will meet the printing needs of Uganda and the East African Community regional bloc because Uganda wants to become a print powerhouse. 

Prof. Muhammad Ngobi, the USPC board chairperson, says that the printing factory will create 300 direct jobs and reduce the costs of passports, and driver's licenses because most of the raw materials will be locally sourced.

He however fell short of declaring how much citizens will pay for passports and driver’s licenses and how much it will cost the company to print these security documents and currency in the future.

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Luganda

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Matthias Schaeur, the German Ambassador to Uganda, says Uganda is moving towards boosting its sovereignty by printing its own security documents, which she has been printing abroad. He is happy that a German company is playing a significant role in helping Uganda to print security documents, most importantly passports. 

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The Project Manager Eng. Robert Hanghusi Waswa says that the construction works, which kicked off on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, will end in August next year. The project comprises a two-storied administration block, powerhouse, main printing factory, and other auxiliary facilities like a health club, fitness center, kitchen, and lounge. 

According to the joint venture agreement, UPPC will take over the management of the factory and associated facilities in 2033.