The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has requested for more funds in the coming 2019/2020 national budget to the tune of Shs 5.3 trillion to fund the many major road projects in the country. In the running financial year UNRA was allocated Shs 4.7 trillion.
According to UNRA’s internal audit director Eng. Moses Kasakya, among the road projects earmarked are; Kampala Flyover Project, Kampala Jinja Expressway ( under procurement), Mpigi Expressway ( under procurement ), Kira – Kasangati – Matuga – Buloba 32km and Najjanankumbi – Busabala – Kazi 11kms (under procurement).
Upgrading projects include expansion of the Kampala Northern bypass, rehabilitation of Nansana-Busunju, of which 96 percent of the work is done, upgrading of Mukono – Kyetume – Katosi/Kisoga – Nyenga (74km) of which 96 percent of the work is done.
The others are; Nyenga – Njeru (10kms) which is 15 percent done, Bweyogere – Bukasa road whose contract has been Contract, Lweza – Kigo Low volume seal project which is 50 percent done. And Kitala – Gelenge road Construction Unit which is 20 percent done
However, while interacting with Members of Parliament on the Physical Infrastructure Committee, UNRA officials were tasked to explain why they want more money yet on several occasions, they have failed to fully use the funds allocated to them.
The issue came up during UNRA’s stakeholders’ engagement organised to highlight the different projects the national roads manager will work on in the coming financial year.
Buikwe County South Member of Parliament David Mutebi wondered if UNRA has the capacity to absorb all the money request for. He asked them to plan better so as to utilise all resources given to them in time. MPs said it becomes difficult to defend UNRA’s budget increase requests when it keeps returning the money to the treasury.
Eng. Kafeero Ssekitoleko, Physical Infrastructure Committee of parliament pointed said that in the financial year 2017/2018 UNRA was allocated shs4 trillion whereby Shs2.8 trillion misused while some were returned to the consolidated fund.
Eng. Kasakya denied that UNRA returns money all the time. For instance, he said UNRA only returned the Shs3 trillion to the treasury as the procurement process hadn’t been finalized. He said they are ready and needs the money more than it did last year due to expansive road projects.