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MPs pledge increase of sports budget

Parliament Committee on Education and Sports made a courtesy visit at the National Council of Sports offices for familiarization of the NCS facilities and held a meeting with management.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members of Parliament under the Sports and Education committee have assured the National Council of Sports that they are going to demand for increment of the budget of the sports sub sector in the next financial year.

The legislators revealed this when they visited council’s headquarters at Lugogo sports complex on 21st September 2021, for a familiarization tour of all sports facilities. The tour was led by the Council’s General Secretary Dr. Bernard Ogwel through the MTN indoor Arena, Hokey ground, Cricket ground and other facilities within the parameters.

Now, the legislators have pledged to help the National Council of sports to advocate for an increment in its budget to help them grow the sporting sub sector.

The sports sub sector receives 18 billion Shillings of which 10 billion Shillings is ring fenced for football, meaning over 50 other sports federations share the remaining 8 billion Shillings.

Dr. Bernard Ogwel made it clear that under the current sports budget, the Council cannot meet 20% of the demands of all sports federations in the country.

Godfrey Kayemba Solo, the Shadow Minister for sports said sports sub sector needs a budget that sustains them well, he believes this will help the council to empower the sports federations

Michael Kakembo said the council should not prioritise only football in their budget, saying they should treat sports in the same manner.

Dr. Bernard Ogwel said the visit by the Members of parliament was very important because they are now well informed about the state of the facilities at National Council of Sports complex.

Ogwel added that the council has already submitted a supplementary budget of over 30 billion to help the sports federations organize their athletes for the forthcoming Commonwealth games. He said they want to build from the Olympic triumph and become a sports powerhouse on the continent.

The legislators also revealed that several sports facilities need improvement to reach the international standards where they can host international games. Kayemba Solo said almost all facilities at the headquarters need to be improved.

In the same development, the legislators also made it clear that the 1964 Sports Act is outdated and it needs improvement to help the Council work effectively. According to the Act, the council shall be comprised of the chairman and ten other members, appointed by the sports minister.

Kayemba revealed that he is going to do a members’ private bill to help change the Act. “As the shadow ministers, we are going to move a private members bill, I am going to and sit with my colleagues to make this Act up to date,”Kayemba said.

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