dfcu Bank Pushes For Financial Opportunities For Contractors In The Roads Sector

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dfcu Bank recently held a customer engagement workshop with prospective customers in the roads construction sector in Uganda.

The workshop which ran under the theme, ‘Challenges and Opportunities in the Road Construction Sector,’ was aimed at raising awareness on financing opportunities for various players in the road sector and highlighting the possibilities that arise from partnering with dfcu Bank in terms of increased capacity to take on bigger contracts.

This was supported by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) which shared an outlook of the country’s road sector.

Speaking during the engagement, the dfcu Bank Executive Director and Chief Commercial Officer, William Sekabembe advised the contractors to consider partnerships when bidding for local contracts as a means to building capacity and increasing their chances of winning contracts.

“We want to support the 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.

dfcu Bank’s Executive Director, William Sekabembe speaking to customers during the roads sector customer engagement workshop.

“The Bank has also set aside financing to support the local contractors who are bidding for the projects that are coming in. Ultimately, dfcu Bank’s value proposition for the road sector is to help the contractors to survive and grow during these times of crisis,” he said.

One of the beneficiaries of dfcu Bank’s financing support, Mr. Francis Okello, the Director of Uganda Martyrs Housing and Construction Company Ltd shared his experience on being able to successfully carry out bidding and execution of his projects on account of dfcu’s support.

“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.

“Let us not be in a hurry to cost for jobs. Reach out to your finance relationship manager and discuss the best way you can cost for your job and successfully complete it. Once I was able to get a bid security without a cash cover because of the flexible relationship that I have managed to build with dfcu Bank,” Okello said.

dfcu Bank’s Head Business Banking, Ronald Kasasa noted that the bank is aware of the challenges faced by road sector players, some of which include lack of collateral, poor record-keeping, lack of resources, unstable foreign exchange rates, long procurement processes, lack of access to markets, delayed payments with no compensation, competition from foreign companies, and it has come up with bespoke solutions.

Some of the participants in the roads sector workshop that was held by dfcu Bank for its customers who are aslo local contractors.

“Understanding the challenges our different customers face is central to developing tailormade solutions to support the different sectors. We understand that some of them still have major financing challenges on account of cost of credit, over trading, lack of collateral, bargaining power of suppliers and competition from foreign companies among other things. The turnaround time for a bid guarantee is long for most of the contractors to get financing from the banks. dfcu Bank is constanstly refining its trade finance customer value proposition to support local contractors,” said Kasasa.

Eng. Joseph Otim, the UNRA Director Road Maintenance said: “The issue of customer engagement is quite important and one of UNRA’s core values is to be customer centric.

“If you don’t hear from the contractors, it means there is something wrong. You must get feedback to know how you’re performing. There are available opportunities in UNRA – we have tried to look for deliberate ways of developing and bringing up local contractors. We now have a directive where there is a certain value of contracts that should be only contracted to local contractors.”

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