Top Insurance Boss Urges URA To Act On Shipping Losses
A top Ugandan Insurance boss has called on the country’s tax body, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to seal revenue losses in the shipping industry.
Uganda looses up to 50 billion shillings annually in revenue due to failure to enforce the Marine Act, leading Insurance broker Aon’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. Maurice Amogola said.
He said that much of the cargo being shipped in to the country is not insured locally, shifting the benefits to foreign insurance firms and economies.
Amogola called on the URA to move in fast to seal the anomaly, a move that could significantly boost their collections and push the country closer towards achieving the middle-income economy status.
“Goods coming to Uganda should be insured in Uganda. This will give the country good revenue and create employment locally and stimulate economic growth,” Amogola said.
He said that insuring goods with international firms can lead to delays as it can take longer time to make follow ups and receive compensation, leaving the clients frustrated.
“If one has a problem in Mombasa or gets problems when the goods are on transit to Kampala it will take them a long time even to get the insurance company in Europe or other overseas countries to assess the damage. Local companies are best suited to sort out the issues because they are readily available,” Amogola added.
Aon is the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resource solutions and outsourcing services.
Amogola revealed this at his office after he received a delegation from the tax body led by Ms. Irene Mbabazi, the Manager Manufacturing and Finance in the Large Tax Office.
He called for the harmonization of functions of the large tax office and the small tax offices, saying that that some of the procedures were slowing down business.
“The VAT filing is a teething problem for the industry due to the nature of the insurance business. When we make declaration, it takes longer to reconcile the figures from the companies and the brokers .URA should make necessary changes to speed up the process,” Amogola said.
Ms. Mbabazi lauded Aon Uganda for its tax compliance record adding that the insurance broker has been instrumental in helping grow business in the country through sound risk advice.
“You have partnered with several businesses locally and over the yearswhich we have seen them grow into regional giants which is a very commendable job”, said Ms. Mbabazi.Ms. Mbabazi however called the Insurance Industry to push harder to help increase uptake of insurance covers in the country.She,argued that although tax returns had showed steady economic growth, the same had not been reflected in the rate at which companies and individuals take up insurance covers.
Ms. Mbabazi said the visit to the Aon offices was part of their initiative to appreciate customers who had outstanding records of meeting their tax obligations to URA.
Others who attended the ceremony included AON’s Chief Financial Officer Mr. Ephantus Githinji, Mr. Jeremy Kirkland, Director Large Clients and Ms. Carolyne Athiyo, the Director Energy, Mining, Oil and Logisticsin East Africa.