Sunday January 14 2018

Gov’t to accommodate ministries, agencies under one campus



Finance minister Matia Kasaija. FILE PHOTO

Finance minister Matia Kasaija. FILE PHOTO 

By EPHRAIM KASOZI

KAMPALA. Government is in final arrangements to move all ministries and agencies from rented premises and accommodate them under one campus to reduce its expenditures, a cabinet minister has revealed.

Finance minister Matia Kasaija said a cabinet decision has been reached to put up a government campus under Bwebajja project on Entebbe road.

According to Mr Kasaija, government spends more than Shs100 billion annually on rent costs for premises where its agencies and ministries are housed.

“Government has realised that we cannot continue spending so much on rent, but the private sector need not to fear that they are going to lose business because the economy is growing and their properties will be accommodated by other development entities,” the minister said.

Mr Kasaija made the remarks while presiding over the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) –at Uganda Road Fund (URF) head offices in Kampala.

The construction of the ten storeyed-twin tower slated to cost Shs51 billion to house the two government entities resulted from a 2013 memorandum of understanding between PPDA and URF.

Describing the project as a development plan to save the government recurrent budget payable on rent, Mr Kasaija also revealed that cabinet has resolved to amend the PPDA Act with a view of removing sections that provide for administrative reviews which delays government projects.

“We are also amending the law on land ownership to give government more powers to acquire land for infrastructure developments without huddles. We must run things efficiently and any principle in the law that is a stumbling block will be changed,” said the minister attributing delays of government projects like Entebbe Expressway and the Mubende- Kakumiro-Kibale Kagadi roads to people using the same law to demand for exorbitant money in compensation.

PPDA board chairperson, Prof Simeon Wanyama said that the construction of the joint head offices to be completed in three years’ time will provide 14,796 square meters of space where 5,825 squares will be let out to enable both agencies to recoup the capital investment in 16 years from savings and rent as well as conference costs.

Dr Merian Sebunya, the URF board chairperson said that the development seeks to help the two entities harness their common interests, constraints and complementary strengths.

She said that PPDA and URF have established a project governance structure to ensure effective coordination of management and timely oversight and policy guidance by the two boards.

“I would like to request the contractor, the supervision consultant and the joint management to ensure that we jointly deliver a high quality product within the expected time and cost, maintain good communication across the various project management levels, avoid unnecessary delays and conflicts and ensure that all funds availed to the project by the treasury are fully utilized within the financial year,” Dr Sebunya said.

She also asked the contractor to shift the burden of payment of bills for completed works to them as their employers rather than the entities going after them to complete the works.

ekasozi@ug.nationmedia.com

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