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Gulu district leaders decry inadequate local revenue sources

Gulu LC V Chairperson Christopher Opiyo Atekere. URN photo

Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Gulu District Local Government leaders have decried the narrow local revenue that is affecting service delivery following the start of the new financial year 2021/2022.

After Gulu municipality attained a city status on July 1st 2020, Gulu District Local Government shifted its base to Awach township. In March 2021, the council proposed a draft budget of 31 billion for FY 2021-22.

Of the proposed budget, Education and Sports department took the majority share of 13.4 billion followed by Administration 9.2 billion, Health 4 billion, Production and Marketing 1.8 billion, Roads 1.2 billion and water 1 billion.

Christopher Opiyo Atekere, the Gulu LC V chairperson says that all the 12 departments of the district that include the council, audit, natural resources are yet to be allocated any financial allocations for operations due to the unavailability of funds.

Atekere said the district is worried about service delivery to the people without funds yet a new circular from the Ministry of Local Government dictates that all districts will receive financial releases to facilitate their operations based on their locally raised revenues.

Ballington P’Ongwech, the Secretary for Education and Health observed that the district lost several markets that were generating significant revenues for instance Laliya market, Agonga market and Laroo-Quarry market that were carved to form Gulu city.

Phoebe Ayoo Obol, the woman councilor for Patiko and Owor sub-counties, who doubles as the district speaker observes a lot of locally raised revenue is ending up in the pockets of individuals which deprives the district of revenue.

The strategic objectives of the district for the 2021/2022 financial year include infrastructure development, good governance, transparency and accountability, stable income and sustainable food security for households.

Atekere noted that the proposed budget of the 31 billion shillings for the 2021/2022 financial year was slightly lower than the previous financial year 2020/2021 budget which was 42.3 Shillings.

This year’s proposed budget was aligned to the National Development Plan as enshrined in Uganda’s Vision 2040 with a specific goal to increase household income and improve family livelihood.

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