Uganda needs a Job Creation Fund. How to raise Revenue to Support the Job Creation Fund
To cure illiteracy and reduce poverty the Government of Uganda introduced Universal Primary Education and Universal Secondary Education. The few that manage to navigate the inefficiencies of these programs and manage to obtain a degree or a diploma or even a certificate can not find a job years after graduation. Instead they resort to petty businesses or move to the middle East to work under slave like conditions because there are no jobs for them in Uganda.
The government has tried different poverty alleviation programmes that have failed due to lack of sufficient funding, corruption, poor design and ineffectual management. The government tried the Entandikwa Program that was a miserable failure and each successor program from Operation Wealth Creation to Emyooga to Parish Model have been even more disappointing than the earlier ones. It’s not surprising that these programs failed given that they were not properly designed and were managed by the same crooks that have always plundered public resources. Not much can be expected from a country where thieves are praised as being cunning and hard-working. To be fair even if the programs were managed by some competent and patriotic person I am sure that political interference, under funding and corruption would have frustrated that person. As soon as you fight those that want to plunder public resources that is the start of the beginning of your end in Uganda.
We throw trillions of shillings to con artists that pose as investors yet they are agents of some connected individuals smartly placed to launder public resources. We spend trillions of shillings on silly projects such as Uganda Airlines that will never break even but we can not spend ten trillion shillings every year to create jobs for Ugandans. Why is it easy to finance programs and projects that have no prospect of benefiting Ugandans or reducing poverty but we refuse to fund projects that will take Ugandans out of poverty and improve their livelihoods.
For example, we invest trillions of shillings every year to make the rich comfortable on tarmac roads in their posh cars on their expensive, useless and purposeless rides. Public officers plunder trillions of shillings to send their concubines to Dubai for shopping, buy expensive cars they never drive, build apartments and sky scrappers that remain empty. Amidst all this seventy five percent of Ugandans can not find a job after graduation. So seventy percent of the population is stuck in odd jobs, subsistence agriculture, boda boda business and other small businesses. As a result a majority of Ugandans are poor, hopeless and stuck in a vicious cycle of suffering.
As you sit at home content with the little wealth you have, 85% of graduates are unemployed or under employed.According to the Bank of Uganda Financial Capability Survey 2022, out of the 22.8 million working Ugandans, only 1 percent earn more than Shs 1m while 49.2 percent earn less than Shs150,000 per month. Furthermore, the survey discovered that 79.6 percent of working Ugandans have not completed secondary level education and that more than 49.2 percent of working Ugandans earn less than Shs150, 000 per month. These are our children, grandchildren, relatives, friends and neighbors. Every day the problem of unemployment become worse as public officers prioritize enriching themselves. You can take action by simply supporting the creation of the Uganda Job Creation Fund of ten trillion shillings per year. The Job Creation Fund if funded at the level of ten trillion shillings per year can create two million jobs per year.
The policy makers will probably never implement such a project because first of all it would take up close to a quarter of the national budget thus leaving less money for plundering and bribing of politicians. Secondly, such a fund would require higher taxes, smarter ways of resource mobilization and the political will to effectively combat corruption. As long as corruption is tolerated and as long as impunity is the order of the day every investment however well designed is likely to fail. The fund would become just another opportunity for the crooks to plunder public resources and reward their allies and family members with juicy jobs in the fund. Thirdly, given that more than a third of national budget is used for debt servicing, a Job Creation Fund requiring ten trillion shillings per year can not be attractive to political leaders whose priority is self enrichment and political survival. In the circumstances, minus a change in the political process and in attitudes of the voters, thinking that the government is going to create a viable job Creation Fund is a pipe dream. For the government to consider such a wise investment the electorate must compel it and punish the government if it fails. The rule of law in Uganda and the political awareness of electorate are not sufficient to allow for such an outcome.
Nonetheless let us dream that one day there will be a leader out there patriotic enough to implement a viable Job Creation Fund. Let us try to trace the sources of funding for such an expensive undertaking so as not to paralyze other government programs such as debt servicing.
- Defund Uganda Airlines- UGX 300bn
- Defund the Parish Model- UGX 800bn
- Reduce size of Parliament- UGX 400bn
- Take over road construction- UGX 1 trillion
- Reduce Government vehicles- UGX 150bn
- Corruption Adjustment Tax- UGX 3 trillion
- Minimum corporation Tax- UGX 100bn
- Take over the Ministry of Health and government hospitals- UGX 200bn
- Enforcement of rental Tax- UGX 400bn
- Property Tax- UGX 400bn
- Eliminate administrative units- 100bn
- Cut state house funding- UGX 500bn
- Commercialize certain government services- UGX 200bn
- Reduce the prevalence of corruption- UGX 1 trillion
- Distribute our electricity – UGX 200bn
- Businesses created by the fund- UGX 2 trillions
- Prevent revenue leakages and enforce tax code-UGX 300bn
- Eliminate tax exemptions- UGX 100bn
- Eliminate expatriates and illegal immigrants- 15,000 jobs
- Tax NGO funds- UGX 200bn
- Take over Microfinance Support Centre, UDB etc – UGX 100bn
- Recover government investments and loans- UGX 200bn
- Reduce none critical military spending- UGX 200bn
- Donations and grants-UGX 400bn
- Increased paye- UGX 200bn
- Take over other government businesses – UGX 200bn
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