Government Earmarks UGX 20 Billion to Clear UBC Debts

1529 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Last year, Tumwebaze appointed the Committee to review the operations of the state broadcaster. The committee was tasked to assess the organizational capacity, quality of content, archiving capacity and funding of the national broadcaster.

Government has earmarked Shillings 20 billion to pay off the debts of Uganda Broadcasting Corporation-UBC in the next financial year, the Information, Communication and Technology Minister, Frank Tumwebaze has revealed.

 
This is part of the move by government to implement the recommendations by a seven member committee chaired by Dr. Peter Mwesigye, the Executive Director, African Centre for Media Excellence to revamp the national broadcaster.
 
 
Last year, Tumwebaze appointed the Committee to review the operations of the state broadcaster. The committee was tasked to assess the organizational capacity, quality of content, archiving capacity and funding of the national broadcaster. 
 
 
In its report issued last year, the committee noted that UBC is saddled with debts, operates in breach of laws and requires an urgent overhaul. Speaking in Fort Portal at the climax of the World Communications week organized by Fort Portal Catholic Diocese, Tumwebaze said that the money has already been included in 2017/2018 financial year budget.



He however, says due diligence will be carried out to establish that the debts are genuine. 
 

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Without disclosing the amount, Tumwebaze also said that the Ministry requires more funds to train staff and upgrade the equipment, which will enable the state broadcaster to have the capacity to organize and produce content.

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According to the 2014 Auditor General's report on statutory corporations, UBC owes suppliers Shillings 28.6 Billion and an outstanding tax debt of over Shillings 3.5 Billion.

The report also notes that UBC had no credit and debt management policies and is in urgent need of manuals on sales, taxation and credit.

Other findings by the Mwesige review committee included poor staff remuneration, defaulting on remitting staff pension contributions, lack of employment contracts, poor quality transmission and failure by the board to understand the public mandate of the corporation.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.