Source: Parliament of the Republic of Uganda |

Uganda: Government presents proposal to borrow US$117.6 million for Kitgum-Kidepo Road

The Minister of State for Finance, Planning, and Economic Development (Planning), Hon. Amos Lugoloobi, tabled the request during the plenary sitting on Thursday, April 18, 2024

KAMPALA, Uganda, April 18, 2024/APO Group/ --

Government has tabled a loan request of US$117.26 million (Shs446.7 billion) to be borrowed from Standard Chartered Bank to finance the construction of the Kitgum-Kidepo road.

The Minister of State for Finance, Planning, and Economic Development (Planning), Hon. Amos Lugoloobi, tabled the request during the plenary sitting on Thursday, April 18, 2024.

Speaker Anita Among noted that government has been improving tourism roads across the country to boost revenue generation from the sector. 

“There is a need for us to work on tourism roads, and today we will receive a proposal to borrow money to finance a tourism road from Kitgum to Kidepo. This road, if constructed, will boost tourism in the Northern part of the country,” she said.

Among also expressed concern about the lengthy approval process for the loan, which has taken over a year and a half, resulting in the accrual of fees such as commitment fees. 

“How can a loan take over a year in the approval process when all the feasibility studies have been done? The time value of money should be considered,” she said.

The Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka, acknowledged the concern but explained that delays are sometimes caused by the need for further and better particulars to ensure efficiency. 

“Besides the time taken to negotiate the loan, the most important thing is that you need to get the right information from the necessary entities,” he said.

The Minister of State for Works, Hon. Musa Ecweru, highlighted the challenge of outdated road designs resulting from the delay.

Hon. Lugoloobi stated that they have evaluated the value chain of loan acquisition, approval process and actual implementation and evaluation of performance, noting serious concerns. 

Speaker Among referred the proposal to the Committee on National Economy for consideration.

Meanwhile, the Minister also tabled a supplementary request worth Shs1.106 trillion for consideration by Parliament. The supplementary expenditure Schedule No. 2 for financial year 2023/24 was tabled according to Section 25 of the Public Finance Management (Amendment) Act (2015), which stipulates that the total supplementary expenditure requiring additional resources over and above what is approved by Parliament shall not exceed 3 percent of the total approved budget for that financial year without the approval of Parliament. 

It also states that where funds are expended under subsection (1), supplementary estimates showing the sums spent shall be laid before Parliament within four months after the money is spent.

According to the breakdown, the bulk of the money, Shs 578 billion was spent on settling the offtake arrangement between Government and DEI Pharmaceuticals; Shs125 billion for settling wage shortfalls, and pension and gratuity shortfalls. Others include State House Shs18.6 billion; Office of the Prime Minister Shs9.4 billion; and Ministry of Finance Shs37.6 billion.

The supplementary schedule was referred to the committee on the Budget for consideration.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.