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MPs query supplementary funding for universities

Education State Minister Ogwang

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Parliament’s Education and Sports Committee has asked officials from the Ministry of Education and Sports to present a list of all universities that sought supplementary funding in the current financial year 2022/2023.

The officials were appearing before the committee where Members of Parliament raised concerns that the accountability submitted by the Ministry for supplementary funding covered only a few universities.

During the Meeting on Tuesday, the Minister of State for Sports Peter Ogwang said that 44.873 billion Shillings had been spent under the Education Skills Development and Sports sub-programme.

According to the report he presented, five Universities had benefited from part of the funds and these are Makerere University (8 billion), Mountains of the Moon University (5.9 billion),  Ndejje University (3.8 billion), Kabale University (3.21 billion) and Mbarara University (1.66 billion).

Philiphs Illukol, the Napore West County MP questioned why universities from Northern and Eastern Uganda were not highlighted.

“The Ministry is mandated to ensure that equal opportunities are given to all Ugandans in higher education. Should we assume that the budgets for universities in Northern and Eastern Uganda were enough that they did not need a supplementary?” the MP asked.

Lillian Paparu, the Arua Woman MP said that universities like Muni, Gulu, Busitema and Soroti are in need of supplementary funding but they have not been considered.

Paparu told the meeting that she was in possession of communication from Muni University indicating that they had written asking for a supplementary to cater for funding gaps but they had not received feedback.

Emmanuel Ongiertho, the Jonam County MP blamed the Ministry of Finance for failing to release supplementary funds as requested for by some universities.

“Why does the Minister for Finance present a supplementary budget to Parliament which gets approved, but is not implemented?” Ongiertho questioned.

The Committee Chairperson, John Twesigye asked the Minister to explain how the supplementary budgets are issued to the different universities.

Ogwang said the requests for supplementary funding are not handled by the Ministry of Education and Sport but the Ministry of Finance. He added that his Ministry also has unfunded priorities of 945 billion Shillings.

The Minister also noted that the Ministry of Finance does not release the money to the Ministries, Departments, Agencies or votes according to what has been budgeted and approved by Parliament.

Ogwang appealed to the Committee to push the Ministry to release the approved supplementary funding in time.

However, the Minister commended the Ministry of Finance for releasing supplementary funds for some institutions of higher learning, which he said has facilitated their programmes.



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