President Yoweri Museveni who is also the National Resistance Movement candidate has praised the giant mobile network MTN for paying Shs701 billion as taxes to Uganda Revenue Authority as he told the people of Acholi to support private investors who in turn will help transform the country.
MTN paid Shs701 billion in taxes on top of $100 million they paid for renewal of the twelve year license. and so this put the telecom company on the top of the list of tax payers.
Museveni made on Wednesday afternoon while addressing the NRM leaders of East Acholi in Kitgum drawn from the districts of Kitgum, Pader, Agago and Lamwo.
The President commended the people of Acholi for developing the region, recollecting that Kitgum has changed tremendously as new buildings, hotels, tarmac roads, shops and other infrastructure have sprung up since he first visited the district in 1979.
The President assured his listeners that the government’s strategy is now shifting to robustly attracting and supporting rich private investors if the economy is to rapidly grow, citing the big tax-payers in the country including MTN which this year paid Shs701 billion in tax revenue, Bank of Uganda Shs451 billion, Airtel Shs542 billion Energy Shs423 billion, Total Uganda Shs 329 billion, Nile Breweries Shs327 billion, Uganda Breweries Shs 304 billion and Stanbic Bank Shs164 billion.
Museveni further said that taxes from MTN alone could finance the annual budgets of Acholi, Lango and West Nile sub-regions. NTM alone contributes to 5 per cent of the national budget.
“The Atiak Sugar Factory is providing income to families who have been organized into out-growers, each family growing cane on five acres of land, and earning an estimated Shs 24 million in 18 months,” he said.
Adding “How did the NRM manage to bring stability when there was instability for all these years? We chose to be different from the other groups by doing things differently. For us in NRM we don’t ask what tribe you are or which religion are you, but we mostly consider your usefulness. This is the message you should preach to the people,” Museveni explained, adding: “We haven’t experienced a scenario where a UPDF officer kills another soldier because of tribe or religion as was the case in the previous regimes. Our Army has been well-established on sound ideology, we only shoot in one direction for national interest.”