Come to us for credit support, dfcu bosses tell road sector players
Kampala, Uganda | JULIUS BUSINGE | Road contractors should consider partnering with financial institutions to increase their chances of winning while bidding for big projects, according to dfcu Bank Executive Director and Chief Commercial Officer, William Sekabembe.
“We want to support contractors, right from the bidding stage, give them access to working capital and also facilitate their access to relevant equipment through leasing for the execution of their projects,” Sekabembe said.
He was speaking at a recent customer engagement workshop with road contractors in Kampala. He said, dfcu’s value proposition for the road sector is to help the contractors to survive and grow during hard times.
dfcu Bank’s Head of Business Banking, Ronald Kasasa, said the bank is aware of the challenges faced by road sector players such as lack of collateral, poor record-keeping, unstable foreign exchange rates, long procurement processes, lack of access to markets, delayed payments with no compensation, competition from foreign companies and more.
“Understanding the challenges our different customers face is central to developing tailor made solutions to support the different sectors,” Kasasa said.
One of the beneficiaries of dfcu Bank’s financing support, Francis Okello, the Director of Uganda Martyrs Housing and Construction Company Ltd said dfcu had supported him to successfully bid and win big projects.
“Many of us contractors have been having operational challenges because we do not always cost appropriately for the bids and we end up cutting corners when we have been given contracts,” Okello said. “Let us not be in a hurry to cost for jobs,” he added. He said, costing jobs requires one to reach out to their finance relationship manager and discuss the best way to go about it.
Some of the products the bank is offering include unsecured products such as bid guarantees of up to Shs500million, contract financing of up to Shs100million and invoice discounting of up to Shs200million.
Meanwhile, the bouquet of unfunded products includes performance guarantees, letters of credit, advance payment guarantees, retention guarantees, and supplier guarantees.
Joseph Otim, the Uganda National Roads Authority Director for Road Maintenance, said there are available opportunities in UNRA for both local and foreign firms.
“We now have a directive where there is a certain value of contracts that should be only contracted to local contractors,” Otim said.