Funding Shortfall Halts Major National Road Projects

3084 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The rehabilitation of nine major roads is halted because of limited financing at the Uganda National Roads Authority.

Nine major road rehabilitation projects around the country have been halted because the Uganda National Roads Authority is cash strapped.

Among the roads affected are the Kapchorwa-Bukwo, Katosi-Mukono-Nyega and Rukungiri-Kihiihi roads.

John Byabagambi, the State Minister for Works, says the Uganda National Roads Authority has less than 300 million shillings to spend on the road projects. He says that while the authority has improved its capacity to use the money at its disposal, the availability of fresh funds has been slow in coming.\

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Byabagambi says the roads authority is streamlining its work in order to improve its effectiveness.

Last year the Secretary to the Treasury, Chris Kassami, disbanded the authority's contracts committee in order to restructure it.

Byabagambi says the new committee is more efficient, but is crippled by funding problems. He says more financing should come from the Uganda Revenue Authority through fuel taxes, but the process of obtaining the money is slow.

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The State Minister for Finance, Fred Jachan Omach, says the money from Uganda Revenue Authority is not handed directly to the roads authority, but is channeled to the government consolidated fund. He says this shouldn't be a cuase for worry because the Ministry of Finance has protected it from diversion to other state projects.

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The development of the national road network for the 2010/2011 financial year was supposed to concentrate on completing the tarmacking, rehabilitation and maintaining of critical road links throughout the country.