President Yoweri Museveni has commissioned Simba Cement Factory, bringing the number of cement manufacturers in Uganda to four after Tororo Cement Limited, Hima Cement Limited and Kampala Cement Company Limited.
The Fifth cement factory, Sinoma Cement Factory Uganda Limited is still under development.
Located in Nyakesi Village, Nyakesi Parish, Rubongi sub-county, Tororo District in Eastern Uganda, Simba Cement Factory has an installed production capacity of one million metric tonnes annually.
The factory currently employs about 400 workers and was built in two and half years by the Mepani Technical Services, at an estimated cost of US$55 million.
Simba Cement Uganda Limited (SCUL) is a subsidiary of National Cement Kenya Limited, the construction materials manufacturer based in Kenya, which National Cement is itself a subsidiary of the Devki Group of Companies.
It is a second cement factory seated in Tororo District and its operationalization is expected to have cement price reduced to Shs.25,000/= per 50-kgs bag.
President Museveni urged Ugandans to be enterprising and disciplined; adding that with the abundant natural resources that Uganda is endowed with, there is tremendous potential for development.
“Countries like Korea and China are developed but they don’t have natural resources. There must be social discipline. Here in Uganda, we have sons of chiefs, rich people with property that they just squander,” he said.
He reiterated that Ugandans must avoid being extravagant and emulate Mr. Guru Narendra Raval, Managing Director of the factory who was once a poor man but has now turned into a billionaire with big projects in different countries.
“The challenge Africans have is extravagance. A person comes from University with a paper degree and immediately wants to do a graduation party. Why do you do big weddings? What does a big party add to a wedding? Me and your Maama went to a small church in London and made our vows and that was it. She is now a grandmother,” he said.
He commended the pledge by the factory to employ local youths and advised the company to employ at least 30% of the youth.
The President encouraged the people of Tororo District to carry out fish farming alongside the periphery of swamps adding that this would make the people have more money from fish than from growing rice.
The Managing Director of Simba Cement factory, Guru Narendra Raval, said the reduction in the price of cement is in line with President Museveni’s dream of having Ugandans living in cemented houses.
“When I met with Mzee with my wife in State House, the President asked me to build a cement factory and now I have built it. I am not here to make profits but to make Ugandan lives better,” said Guru.
Guru, who promised to train and promote local employment opportunities, also donated 1,000 bags of cement to the President.
State Minister for Privatization and Investment, Evelyn Anite, commended President Museveni for attracting and pushing for the investment culture in Uganda. She further thanked him for making Tororo District an industrial area as it has more than 10 factories that have created employment for Ugandans.