The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) improvement of its in-house capacity has already saved it over Shs 215 billion that would have been paid to external service providers, its Executive Director Allen Catherine Kagina, has said.
According to Kagina, who was presenting to the media the half year performance report of finance year 2017/18, UNRA improved its capacity in supervision and saved on roads (Shs20.7bn); bridges (Shs65.67bn); land acquisition (13.99bn); design (Shs44bn); legal (shs46.27bn) and audit (24.2bn).
Kagina said UNRA, which is allocated trillions of shillings, was doing its best to ensure that the resources allocated are efficiently utilised and that there is Value for Money for all stakeholders. She urged the public stop bad acts like vandalism, road reserve encroachment and abuse of road facilities.
She also said there had been a 23 percent growth in passengers using ferry services.
“UNRA…has started the construction of a ferry to Sigulu Islands,” she said, adding that the agency is the process of establishing of ferry services on Bukungu-Kagwara-Kaberamaido (BKK) route to connect Teso and Busoga regions through Lake Kyoga.
“We are also repairing the Bukakata ferry,” she added.
Speaking about road construction, Kagina said government has re-instated the contracts of firms that were working on 104 km Musita-Lumino-Busia/Majanji Road and 102 km Nakalama-Tirinyi-Mbale Road which were behind schedule by 70 percent and 60 percent at the time of the termination of contracts.
This was after President Museveni directing mid last year that UNRA allow the firms continue with the works on the two roads, stating that he was receiving complaints from politicians and residents in the districts where the roads pass.
Dott Services was working on the Nakalama-Tirinyi-Mbale Road, and early this year the President, for the third time, again directed UNRA to reinstate its suspended contract.
“After an appeal by the affected contractors, with a pledge to mobilise and execute their contracts more effectively than before, Government made consideration and took a decision to re-instate them on the two respective projects. UNRA is now taking steps to ensure that the projects are implemented strictly in accordance with the terms and conditions of their contracts and in the quickest time possible,” Kagina said of the companies.
Meanwhile, the report shows that UNRA is working on nine bridges whose progress is at different stages but five of these are expected to be completed by end of the current financial year. They include the Second Nile Bridge, Manafa Bridge on Tororo-Mbale Road, Seretiyo and Nyali Bridge in Kapchorwa, Aswa Bridge and Cido Bridge in Nebbi whose works stand at 58 percent, 100 percent, 80 percent, 99 percent and 86 percent respectively.