BUSINESS

UBL commissions UGX18 billion logistics facility

LEFT – RIGHT: URA Commissioner General John Musinguzi Rujoki, UBL MD Andrew Kilonzo and UBL Board Chairman Japheth Katto (PHOTO/Courtesy)

LEFT – RIGHT: URA Commissioner General John Musinguzi Rujoki, UBL MD Andrew Kilonzo and UBL Board Chairman Japheth Katto (PHOTO/Courtesy)

KAMPALA – Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) has commissioned a UGX 17.6 billion top-of-the-line logistics warehouse and empties handstand at a ceremony presided over by the Commissioner General of the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) – John Musinguzi.

The warehouse will improve the business’ logistics and storage capacity in line with its expansion plans.

The facility features an Empties Hardstand and Beer Membrane Filtration (BMF) Plant, which can accommodate Full Goods Storage of 7,294 Pallets and Empties Storage of 8,171 Pallets; a Forklift Handling Capacity of 7,350 cases per forklift per day and; a Truck Capacity of 132 trucks per day.

The project will also save the brewery UGX 2.47b per annum and according to UBL’s Managing Director – Andrew Kilonzo – will increase the brewery’s efficiency in producing, storing, and packaging products.

“We are driven by the purpose to be a beacon of excellence in manufacturing in Uganda and the wider region. And by increasing our production and storage capacity, we will be able to improve efficiency, cut costs and in turn increase our tax remittances to the Government in support of service delivery,” he stated.

Kilonzo explained that for the past 75 years, UBL has been a diligent taxpayer, earning a place among the top 10 taxpayers in the country while contributing more than UGX 200 billion in taxes annually and over UGX 7.4 trillion in total.

He added that only 1% of the players in the alcohol beverage industry are regulated and taxed, leaving the tax burden to a few regulated players, further appealing to the government to widen its tax base by ensuring all players are evenly taxed to plug the exponential tax leaks.

According to the Finance Ministry’s Performance of the Economy report for September, the Business Tendency Index (BTI) – which measures the level of optimism that executives have about the current and expected outlook for production, order levels, employment, prices and access to credit – increased from 52.62 in August 2022 to 52.93 in September 2022, with optimism mainly expressed in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.

Additionally, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from manufacturing in Uganda increased to UGX 5152.15 Billion in the second quarter of 2022 from UGX 5055.39 Billion in the first quarter of 2022.

The URA Commissioner General hailed UBL for not only being tax compliant but also a champion of sustainable manufacturing through projects that protect and replenish the environment.

“I want to applaud UBL for being a model manufacturer in adopting and implementing innovations in tax collections, such as the Digital Tax Stamps, in addition to promoting environmental sustainability. It is through the efforts and commitment of companies such as yours that we will achieve our vision of transforming Uganda.” He said.

In May last year, officials from Burundian Revenue Authority visited UBL on a benchmarking mission to understand how the company has successfully and consistently implemented the Digital Tax Stamp system in its operations.

Japheth Katto, UBL’s Board Chair, encouraged more dialogue to strengthen the bonds between the public and private sectors.

“There’s nothing so difficult that genuine dialogue can not resolve; to this note allow me to applaud you and your team for embracing dialogue. I was a regulator for many years and I learnt that good regulation is when the regulator and the regulated work together to resolve complex issues,” he said.

UBL’s Kilonzo appreciated URA for its efforts toward digitizing and easing the tax collection process, which has helped improve efficiency for businesses.

“We reiterate our commitment towards continuing to support URA as far as domestic revenue mobilization is concerned and look forward to working together towards further contributing to the socio-economic growth of Uganda,” he added.

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