The digital number plate project is part of Uganda’s Intelligent Transport Monitoring System (ITMS), designed to enhance efficiency in the transport and security sectors. The replacement of old license plates with digital ones could result in approximately Shs154 billion in revenue if all registered vehicle owners comply.
As of May 31, the Ministry of Works and Transport reports that there are a total of 1,820,474 vehicles in the country. Among these, 1,184,651 are motorcycles, and 635,823 belong to other vehicle categories.
If all 635,823 vehicles (excluding motorcycles) pay Shs150,000 per unit to replace their license plates, Joint Stock Company Global Security, a Russian company, could collect Shs95.3 billion based on calculations by this newspaper.
For motorcycles, the digital number plate company is expected to collect Shs59.2 billion once all motorcycles have replaced their number plates, with a fee of Shs50,000 per plate. New vehicle and motorcycle owners will be required to pay Shs714,000.
Registration for the new number plates is scheduled to begin in November, despite opposition from various government agencies and ministries, including the Uganda Revenue Authority and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Susan Kataike, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Works and Transport, highlighted the challenge of accurately tracking vehicles on the road due to reliance on URA registration and ministry licensing. The digital number plates will help authorities determine whether a vehicle is still in use or has been written off, thus preventing theft and saving law enforcement resources.
The digital number plate project is a key component of Uganda’s Intelligent Transport Monitoring System (ITMS), aiming to improve efficiency in the transport and security sectors. However, during a parliamentary committee appearance, Minister of Internal Affairs Maj Gen (rtd) Kahinda Otafiire expressed a lack of knowledge about the project’s details. He also raised concerns about the Russian company’s ability to produce number plates in Poland due to strained relations between the two countries caused by the war in Ukraine.
The Uganda Revenue Authority’s Commissioner General, Mr. John Musinguzi, also raised concerns about the Shs714,000 cost for digital number plates, stating that it might be too burdensome for ordinary motor vehicle taxpayers.