Kampala, Uganda – The Association of External Labour Recruitment Agencies has lost 147 billion shillings during the covid-19 pandemic.
While appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on National Economy on Monday, Baker Akatambira, the chairperson says that they have lost direct income due to the closure of the borders and airports which stopped 150,000 workers from travelling.
Akatambira says that they have lost up to 103 billion shillings for air tickets, 30 billion for medical costs, 17 billion for passports, 8 billion for Visa costs, and 7 billion shillings for mobilization costs among others.
He says that there has been a direct loss of income due to reduced job orders between January 18th and March.
Akatambira explains that due to the closure of airports, about 960 Ugandan workers who were in transit to Cairo, Dubai were returned into the country.
Akatambira adds that due to the lockdown, 120,000 Ugandans have missed travelling for work. He adds that before the covid-19 pandemic, they used to send 30,000 Ugandans abroad every month.
Akatambira wants the government to look for new work destinations for Ugandans like in China. They also want Uganda Airlines to start flights to the Middle East among others.
Akatambira also wants the government to give a stimulus of 50,000 to 100,000 US Dollars for each of the 198 companies.
Thomas Tayebwa the Ruhinda North MP advised the external labour companies to access loans from Uganda Development Bank to keep in business.