Government has been tasked to explain the decision by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to halt the construction of new roads in the 2016/17 financial year.
Hon. William Nzoghu(FDC,) the Shadow Minister of Works and Infrastructure Development while presenting a Motion on the floor of the House, today Thursday 21st July 2016, expressed concern that despite government’s approval of Ushs 2.5 trillion for roads development, rehabilitation, reconstruction and maintenance, the Executive
Director of UNRA did otherwise.
“It is imperative to note that following the UNRA press briefing on 30th June 2016, the Executive Director of UNRA, Allen Kagina, highlighted the change of priority from roads to construction of the Standard Gauge Railway,” he said.
He further informed the House that contrary to Section 22 (2) of the Public Finance Management Act 2015, contracts for roads like; Soroti-Katakwi-Moroto-Lokitanyala had already been awarded. He added that the delays and inflation of costs will be a liability to government.
Legislators from across the political divide were concerned about the developments that had been highlighted.
Hon. Bernard Atiku (Ayivu County) informed the House that during the presidential campaigns, the President promised to construct roads and was shocked to see the press reports that Kagina had made such a call without consulting Parliament.
The Speaker, Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga, directed the Minister of Works Hon. Monica Ntege Azuba to explain which roads had been discarded at the next convenient sitting of the House.
“The Minister of Works needs to come and explain, if the roads will be constructed in the FY 2016/17 and if no roads will be constructed; how government avoid defaulting on counterpart funding. The country needs to know,” she added.