He cautioned that many masqueraders have made themselves too available and effective to the business community that it’s hard for the association to know who the real importers are, but hastened to add that clearing agents should only be those that are licensed by the Uganda Revenue Authority.
The Uganda Clearing Industry and
Forwarding Association (UCIFA) is receiving more complaints about unscrupulous individuals identifying themselves as clearing
agents while they were not.
This has been revealed by Al-Hajj Jaffer Abdallah, the
National Chairman of the Association after he was sworn in for the second
time together with his new team of nine members of the board.
He cautioned that many masqueraders have made themselves too available and
effective to the business community that it’s hard for the association to know
who the real importers are, but hastened to add that clearing
agents should only be those that are licensed by the Uganda Revenue Authority.
//Cue in; ”The masqueraders have…
Cue out…The clearing agents.”//
As the association, Jaffar says they embarked on a training
programme that will root out fakes which is why they are planning to operationalize
the institute for clearing and forwarding agents. Currently, they have started a partnership
with the Management Training and Advisory Centre of the Ministry of Trade to
bridge the gap in professional development.
He says before 2017 when the idea of the institute was
explored, there hasn’t been capacity building for forwarders and clearing
agents even as the association came into being as early as 1971.
//Cue in; ”We are looking at…
Cue out…masqueraders moving forward.”//
On his part, Mike Mukula, the patron of the association
urged government to reserve some of the jobs that they will be awarded for the
recently signed USD 3.5 billion oil pipeline deal with Tanzania and oil companies to
local clearing agents and forwarders. This project that is expected to begin this year is
anticipated to be juicy considering that the East African Crude Oil Project
Pipeline (EACOPP) could be the longest electrically heated crude oil pipeline
in the world, at 1,400 kilometres (850 miles).
//Cue in; “Tugambye ntino…
Cue out….okufuna ku kasente.”//
The forwarders however said currently they haven’t been
involved in any policy formulation and continue to be sidelined even as they
have played a key part in increasing the country’s revenue.
Responding to these concerns, Geoffrey Okaka, an official
from the customs department of URA said the tax body has also noted and is
finding solutions for the wide outcry about characters who camouflage as