Ugandans at the airport heading to Middle East for jobs. Courtesy photo.

External labour: Recruitment Agencies want stimulus of US$100,000

(Last Updated On: 2 June 2020)

Kampala—2, June 2020: The Association of External Labour Recruitment Agencies [AELRA] says it has lost Uganda shillings 147 billion during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This was revealed by Mr Baker Akatambira, the AELRA chairperson, while appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on National Economy on Monday.

Mr Akatambira told Parliament that they have lost direct income because of the closure of the borders and airports which stopped 150,000 workers from travelling.

He further says that they have lost up to Uganda shillings 103 billion for air tickets, shs30 billion for medical costs, shs17 billion for passports, shs8 billion for visa costs, and shs7 billion for mobilization costs, among others.

He says that there has been a direct loss of income because of reduced job orders between January 18th and March 2020.

“Due to the closure of airports, about 960 Ugandan workers who were in transit to Cairo, Dubai were returned into the country,” he says.

Due to the lockdown and flights restrictions, he told the Parliamentary Committee that 120,000 Ugandans have missed travelling for work, further adding that before the Covid-19 pandemic, they used to send 30,000 Ugandans abroad every month.

Mr Akatambira asked government to look for new work destinations for Ugandans like in China. The agencies also want Uganda Airlines to start flights to the Middle East.

“We want the government to give a stimulus of 50,000 to 100,000 US Dollars for each of the 198 companies,” he asked.

Thomas Tayebwa, who’s the Ruhinda North MP, advised the external labour companies to access loans from Uganda Development Bank to keep their businesses.

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