The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde, officiated at the technical handover of the Ugandan side of Elegu- Nimule Border to government, having been constructed to quicken clearing processes between the customs departments of South Sudan and Uganda.
The over Shs37 billion project was funded by Trademark East Africa and other development partners. The South Sudan part is still under construction because of insecurity.
Speaking at the handover of the customs facility, minister Kyambadde lauded development partners such as Trade Mark East Africa, European Union and the United Kingdom government, saying the facility which was hitherto slow in its operation will now be fast and improve trade between Uganda and South Sudan.
“I want to thank the government of South Sudan for cooperating with Uganda in the construction of a powerful Elegu One Stop Boarder Post (OSBP). Our trade benefits with South Sudan had significantly declined because of political insecurity … in the country. I hope this OSBP will make great a difference,” she said.
Kyambadde sked both citizens of the countries to remain peaceful, cooperative and continue working towards development.
The Ugandan side of the border post has a freight building, cargo verification building, light vehicle inspection shade and gate house. It also has power house, pump house, waste treatment plant, power supply and cabling.
According to Commissioner of Customs in Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Dickson Kateshumbwa, revenue body collects Shs3.6 billion annually from businesses that use that point.
“Between 2015 and 2016, URA used to clear between 5000 and 6000 trucks before the war broke out, the number of trucks dropped to 60.We have 200 trucks that cross every day and we look forward to improved clearance time. We also look forward to facilitate cross boarder traders,” he said.
He said that URA would install scanners next year for security and cargo management and implementation of the women’s framework they launched recently.
South Sudan’s undersecretary ministry of Trade, Industries and EAC Affairs, Mou Mou Athian Kuol vowed that his country would play a critical role for trade between both countries to thrive. “We are going to make sure that Ugandan Traders are not mistreated in South Sudan,” he added.