Museveni ring-fences infrastructure borrowing

Wednesday September 18 2019



President Yoweri K Museveni. File photo

President Yoweri K Museveni. File photo 

By Moses Kyeyune

President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday issued a new directive on borrowing for infrastructure, limiting borrowing for only railway construction, electricity generation and irrigation schemes. Others that can be borrowed for include; strategic road projects and some aspects of the Education and Health sector.

This according to Mr Museveni is “for purposes of streamlining proper national economic growth."

The President issued the directive during a Tuesday meeting with the African Development Bank (ADB) Regional Director in charge of the Eastern Africa, Mr Gabriel Negattu, and some government officials at State House Entebbe, while sourcing funding for school infrastructure.

Mr Museveni emphasised that the construction of the railway is crucial because it will link Uganda to the neighbouring countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan.

He said the current power supply is not enough because of the dynamics of the internal economy in Uganda which consumes it all.

In the education sector, Mr Museveni said, the government will be undertaking the implementation of the construction of 280 Secondary Schools at Sub-County level countrywide.

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“At the university level, focus should be on the construction of laboratories first and then main halls, which are optional,” he said.

Mr Alex Kakooza, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education and Sports who attended the meeting said out of the 280 Secondary Schools, 134 will be newly built with the rest requiring only refurbishment.

The cost of constructing the new schools is estimated at between US$60 – US$70 million (about shs250b.)

Mr Gabriel Negattu agreed with the President’s directive on grounds that borrowing should be aimed at strategic sectors in the economy.

He advised government on the need to think broadly beyond Uganda while planning for infrastructure development.

“Think beyond Uganda and go to East Africa in order to create a centre for development and economic excellence in the region for the future,” he added.

The government has been criticized for borrowing for consumption rather than development.

However, a number of major infrastructural projects also remain partially done, mainly because of land wrangles and procurement constraints.

mkyeyune@ug.nationmedia.com

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