As the economy is getting strained due to the Coronavirus pandemic, government has to scale down expenditure in order to save funds for the fight against the pandemic. This includes money, mostly foreign exchange, used to print government security documents.
In the past, a host of these documents like ballot papers for elections, banknotes, passports, driving licences, and identity cards have been printed by companies in foreign countries for and on behalf of government, and then imported into the country. This has proved to be costly, but no more.
President Yoweri Museveni has directed that all these and more be printed locally to reduce foreign exchange expenditure, according to a letter he wrote to Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda on March 23, 2020, the New Vision reports.
The President’s directive is to be implemented by accounting officers of all ministries and departments starting from the next Financial Year, 2020/2021, as revealed by Finance Minister Matia Kasaija.
State Minister for Internal Affairs Hon. Kania Obiga says that the Presidential directive is welcome as it will save government a lot of money that was being spent on outsourcing overseas’ printing services.
“We have been spending a lot of money printing abroad, but when we start printing locally, not only shall we create jobs, but also save money and build expertise,” Kania said.
The Electoral Commission, Bank of Uganda, and Ministry of Internal Affirs have had election materials, Uganda Shillings banknotes, and Passports printed in South Africa and Germany respectively, but this is bound to change in the next Financial Year when Museveni’s directive is implemented.
Local printing companies should prepare their bids to scoop these printing deals that are going to be available.