Uganda focuses spending on defence, energy and transport sectors

Uganda focuses spending on defence, energy and transport sectors

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni addresses the nation during the 2021/2022 Budget presentation event on June 10 in Kampala. PHOTO | PARLIAMENT PRESS Defence, energy and transport sectors ate big while allocations to fiscal stimulus programmes and settlement of domestic arrears received “humble pie” in Uganda’s budget blue print for financial year 2021/22 in an attempt to steer economic recovery through additional investments in ongoing infrastructure projects.

The works and transport sector was allocated Ush5.1 trillion ($1.4 billion) for integrated transport infrastructure investments with a provision of Ush400 billion ($113 million) meant for road maintenance works in an arrangement intended to benefit current road construction projects in the Albertine region as the country ramps up preparations for commercial oil production anticipated to commence in 2023.

“The huge allocations made to the transport sector are meant to speed up construction of the road network in the Albertine region and facilitate initial production of first oil by international oil companies. A combination of increased expenditure on these projects and early investments done by the oil companies will indirectly expand economic activity and boost the economy in the short term,” said Dr Albert Musisi, Commissioner for Macroeconomic Policy at Uganda’s Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

The defence and security docket received Ush6.9 trillion ($1.95 billion), an amount that secured a lion’s share of the country resource envelope meant to bankroll planned military operations in South Sudan and in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a mineral rich trade hub that borders parts of Western and Northern Uganda and also accommodates the Allied Democratic Forces rebels, a terror group hostile to the Ugandan government.

So far, Ugandan troops are reported to have entered parts of Eastern DRC in preparation for a military offensive but the duration of this military campaign remains unclear. A portion of the defence budget allocation will be spent on construction of 30,000 housing units for military personnel.

The energy sector was allocated Ush1.1 trillion ($310.9 million) for infrastructure development, with Ush622 billion ($175.8 million) provided for expansion of rural electrification programmes. This budget allocation seemingly promises sweet opportunities for energy industry contractors and modest financial relief for Umeme Ltd, which is owed more than Ush200 billion ($56.5 million) in unpaid bills incurred on subsidised power connections done in rural areas since 2018. New judges

In comparison, budget allocations made to the judiciary rose from Ush199 billion ($56.2 million) in 2020/21 to Ush377 […]

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