Nakasongola, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Nakasongola District council has lowered its local revenue expectations for the financial year 2021/22 after failing to meet targets in the past two financial years.
According to the 2021/22 draft budget for Nakasongola, the district expects to collect 900 Million Shillings from local revenue below the 1.3 billion shillings which it planned to get in 2020/21.
This means that the district has given up on collecting 497 Million Shillings.
Betty Namukwaya, the Nakasongola District Secretary for Finance, Planning and Administration says the district resolved to lower its expectations after failing to meet revenue targets in past years over restrictions on key sources of revenue, displacement of fishermen and elevation of trading centres to town councils.
Namukwaya says that by December 2020, the district had managed to collect only 599 Million Shillings out of 1.3 billion which is 36% and there is no hope of meeting planned targets.
Namukwaya explains that fishing which is a major source of revenue has been under a ban and even after lifting it, several fishermen are yet to return to Lake Kyoga over new restrictions.
Namukwaya added that some landing sites which were sources of revenue remain submerged by rising water levels on Lake Kyoga and they don’t expect revenue in the coming financial year.
She adds that the district also lost four trading centres which were the major source of revenue after they were elevated to town councils and become semi-autonomous hence retaining all collections.
The district also suffered a shortfall over restrictions on certain business over COVID- 19 lockdown.
As result, Namukwaya said that the district resolved to lower its expectations and set achievable revenue targets in 2021/22.
The district has also revised its budget from 28. 9 billion shillings in 2020/21 to 28.7 billion in 2021/22 financial year.
Sam Kigula, the LCV Chairperson Nakasongola District says that revisions will significantly affect service delivery and administrative roles.
Kigula says that the district may also need to revise the amount given to councillors because these increased from 24 to 33 councillors yet the revenue has declined.
Kigula however insists that the district can collect above the set targets if the leakages are minimized.
The district has cut down on administrative costs from 3.6 billion shillings in 2020/21 to 2.2 billion shillings in the next financial year, statutory bodies budget revised to 596 million shillings from 631 million shillings in the past financial year, roads and engineering expect 1.3 billion shillings from 1.4 billion shillings planned in last financial year.
The Nakasongola District Council is expected to sit before May 31st this year to discuss and approve the budget for the financial year 2021/22.
In 2019/20, the district was able to collect only 46% of expected local revenue.
In Luwero district, authorities have also resolved to cut allowances for councillors in the next financial year citing revenue losses following the creation of five town councils.
Each district councillor in Luwero has been entitled to 400,000 shillings for allowances per sitting. After-tax deductions each councillor was getting a net pay of 313,000 shillings per sitting.
However, according to the approved district work plan for the financial year 2021/22, each councillor will receive 230,000 Shillings for allowances per sitting.
The district council is also expected to sit and approve the budget estimates worth 62.4 billion shillings for the year 2021/22.