President Museveni has said the problem of skyrocketing commodity prices is easier to solve than the COVID-19 because it is not a new thing.
President Yoweri Museveni has said the problem of skyrocketing commodity prices is easier to solve than COVID-19 since it does not present any new challenges.
Museveni made the remarks in his State of the Nation Address on Sunday. He said in the last three and a half years, Uganda has faced a number of challenges including the locust invasion, Covid-19, floating islands, and now the increasing prices but said the Covid-19 was the most challenging.
Museveni however, said despite its challenges, the country only managed to record a few deaths totalling 3,600 deaths and of these, many were orchestrated by indiscipline from opposition leaders.
“As usual, those who don’t believe in God and themselves started panicking and predicting doom, but we, the NRM fraternity that God has enabled to handle bigger wars, are sure that any of these challenges can be rationally handled,” Museveni said.
“Genesis 1: 26-28 talks about man establishing dominion over nature. Right from the beginning, God empowered man to use his superior brain to find solutions to the challenges they face. We in the NRM believe we can solve any problem fairly. We always fight justly.”
In addition, he said the issue of price hikes can be solved with existing knowledge once applied rightly. He warned if not handled well, the problem of high commodity prices can lead to the collapse of any economy.
“The high prices are because of the removal of the COVID19 restrictions. When the economy opened suddenly, the supply is nolonger able to match the demand. Secondly, I hear some suppliers decided to turn their palm oil into petrol. Thirdly, the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia have also caused shortages of petrol, gas, wheat etc,” Museveni added.
“This has now created another problem. The reason why we have too many surpluses with no internal market is because we handled the problem of shortages well in 1986. The real solution to the high prices is increased production. Produce more to deal with the shortages. The problem of high commodity prices if not handled well can lead to the collapse of the economy.”
If handled well, however, he said it can be an added advantage to the economy. He ruled out the issue of removing taxes from locally produced goods saying that this would not only cause a tax loss to the government but also be a suicidal blunder.
He urged Ugandans to use imported commodities frugally and look out for alternative products. Museveni suggested that for items like soap, alternatives including sunflower can be used for production.
For bread he said banana and cassava flour can be used in the meantime.
“Millet is the only cereal with protein, carbohydrates and iron. We have most of the things we need; surplus electricity and good infrastructure, and we are beginning to pay our scientists well. With our scientists, we are making everything apart from aeroplanes,” Museveni urged.
“With imported commodities, this is a recipe for disaster. It will lead to the collapse of the economy. This problem of the high fuel prices is sucking money from the pockets of individuals and sucking more dollars from our national reserve.”