Two warehouses belonging to Rwanda Bonded Warehouses (Magerwa) in Rusizi, Western Province, are lying idle since their construction in 2006.
The under-utilisation of the warehouses constructed at a whopping Frw1.3 billion follows failure by the business community in that region to meet their promises of buying their own aircraft that would see increased connection of cargo flights from Kanombe to Kamembe.
The Director General of Magerwa, Louis Benimana, said in an interview, that the businessmen were so ambitious when they said that they intended to buy their own aircraft.
“This prompted us to have the warehouses as our priority; however there is great potential in the future considering the rate at which Rwanda’s economy is growing,” he said.
The 380sqm warehouse at Kamembe Airport was to handle cargo from Kanombe Airport but was not utilised as expected by Magerwa.
However, the Frw1b for the 1520sqm warehouse in Mutara would handle cargo by road via Bujumbura. Non-performance of the Mutara warehouse is attributed to the delay in the construction of a 1km road worth Frw700 million from Mutara to Bugarama.
The construction of these warehouses came as a result of President Paul Kagame’s promise to the business community in Cyangugu to increase storage capacity of goods whose duties are unpaid.
“We can’t say that we (Magerwa) have lost because strategies are in place to recover our investments and even make profits through sensitizing business operators to utilize the warehouses,” Benimana said.
He advised the business community in Cyangugu to opt for the Dar es Salaam road to Cyangugu via Bujumbura route because its 400 km shorter than the Dar es Salaam-Rusumo-Cyangugu via Kigali route to have these warehouses utilised.