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Key gov’t projects slowed by greed, lengthy procurement processes

There have been numerous delays in completion and construction of roads across the country.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | State agencies overseeing infrastructure development have put the blame on the errant government officials and the procurement regime for the delays in implementing public infrastructure projects.

This comes after Finance Minister Matia Kasaija challenged Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda to find ways of ensuring that government projects are implemented according to plans and completed within the originally specified period. This would save the government millions of dollars lost when projects, especially those funded through borrowed money are delayed.

Also speaking at the launch of the 2021/2022 budget strategy, the private sector and civil society representatives said apart from causing losses to the government, the private sector companies that would benefit from such projects are also affected.

Uganda continues to service the loans even before the projects commence and Minister Kasaija said that some projects take as much as three years before construction commences while loan servicing starts immediately.

Recently, there were reports that the government was paying 10 million Shillings daily for unused electricity from Achwa river energy project because the government was yet to start evacuating it as per the contract yet the contractor had completed construction of the dam.

Now the government is spending USD 11 million per month for the delays in the completion of Karuma hydropower project. Other affected projects are in the roads sector. Uganda National Roads Authority manager, media relations Allan Sempebwa admits that they usually encounter delays but he puts it on the lengthy procurement process and the law especially regarding land acquisitions.

Electricity Regulatory Authority Head of Corporate Affairs Julius Wandera says the problem arises from greed among some government officials who want to influence some areas in a project. He cites projects where the president directs on the allocation of contracts, that such projects usually run on time because there is no bureaucracy and spaces for controversies.

The Chief Executive officer of the Africa Institute for Energy Governance, Dickens Kamugisha blames everything on corruption which affects planning and implementation processes.

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