I have read with dismay, the recent decision of deregistration of companies by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), over noncompliance. I want to suspect and believe that there are more few people who have been perplexed by this decision, just like me. I base this on the arguments and comments that came through one of the social media platforms I belong to.
I am not writing this as an advocate of noncompliance, which has been cited as one of the main reasons behind this exercise, but rather, I speak from the realistic point of view, having started up a company in Uganda, as well as being an advocate of other people to do the same, to remedy the challenge of unemployment, as well as cover the gap left with fewer jobs in the public sector.
Whereas there is no better time to close anyone’s business, this exercise of deregistration has come at one of the worst of times! The high levels of unemployment in the country, especially among the youth, coupled with the public outcry, are what have led to the formation of many of these companies.
The current economic situation does not make it any better. As someone who is mooting for students to start up their own enterprises, while at school, to reduce on the rising unemployment levels, my morale is adversely affected by this position taken by the Registrar General.
Furthermore, my experience has helped me to observe that the process of developing a company is too challenging, by the time everything is in order, including operational systems, which require resources that are meager to come by. Most of these young enterprises try their best to survive, but, they can hardly survive, due to various challenges, including the lack of knowledge and resources to submit annual returns.
It is also important to note that despite of their inability to fulfill URSB requirements, some of these companies have some commitments and obligations to fulfill, by the time of deregistration. I see the process of running to courts of law is likely to cost more, while leaving some scars with their potential clients and donors.
By this letter, I call upon URSB, and any other concerned stakeholders in this process to conduct more sensitizations as opposed to these closures, which risk the country being plunged into more chaos and insecurity from those who will be rendered jobless upon deregistration.
This exercise will most likely fuel more interpersonal conflicts between company owners and their suppliers or clients, which may jeopardize their relationships further. We must also open our ears further, to allude to the fact that many local investors have often cried about the lack of a leveled ground, to compete with foreign investors, who are normally given incentives, including tax holidays. Let the policy makers be seen to be practically behind initiatives like Buy Uganda, Build Uganda (BUBU), by uplifting the capacity of local investors.
Namisi Bruno Ignatius
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