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Nurses board lost UGX 5Bn revenue during lockdown

Helen Katartambi UNMED Executive Secretary (left) and Ndiwalana Geroge, accountant

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  The Uganda Nurses and Midwives Examination board lost over Shillings 5bn in revenue during the nationwide lockdown triggered by COVID-19 pandemic last year. 

This came during an interface between the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Examination board officials led by the Executive Secretary, Helen Mukakarisa Kataratambi and Public Accounts Committee of parliament on Friday. 

The board officials had appeared to respond to queries in the auditor general’s reports for three consecutive financial years ending June 2020. Mbarara Municipality MP, Michael Tusiime quizzed the officials on why Non-Tax Revenue kept falling short of the targeted levels. 

He pointed out that in the 2017/2018 financial year the Board had an approved target of Shillings 6.252bn but only realized Shillings 5.777bn. Similarly in the 2018/2019 financial year, the board had a target of Shillings 12.051bn but only realized Shillings 11.603bn. 

The disparity between the targeted and actual revenue widened exceedingly in the 2019/2020 financial year where only Shillings 9.827bn was realised against a target of Shillings 14.929bn. 

The principal accountant George Ndiwalana explained that the shortfall in revenue is due to the fact that while the board is budgeting for the forthcoming financial year usually makes an estimate of how many first-year students are expected to enrol for courses in accredited institutions across the country but the number of enrolment is usually lower compared the estimate. 

He noted that the nationwide lockdown, which affected all educational institutions across the country affected its revenue collection last year.   

The board’s total budget for that year was Shillings 32.496bn. Shillings 17.566bn was expected from the government while Shillings 14.929 was expected from non-tax revenue. However, only Shillings 9.827bn was realized leading to a loss of Shillings 5.102bn. The committee also raised concern about the staggering domestic arrears accumulated by the board during the three year period.

By the end of the 2019/2020 financial year, the domestic arrears stood at Shillings 3.186bn having risen from Shillings 1.063bn in the 2017/18 financial year. Kataratambi lamented that the board is underfunded, which constrains the implementation of its mandate.   

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