The Government of Uganda seems determined to away with unnecessary loans burdening Ugandans, Business Focus reveals.
The latest is that President Yoweri Museveni has rejected 11 loans that he says will not add value to Uganda’s economy.
“We are burdening the country with so many loans many of which don’t add value to the GDP of the country and I believe we shouldn’t waste our time on them,” Museveni says in a letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.
Loans Not Approved
Out of 27 loans that have been submitted to Parliament for approval, Museveni found only 16 loans worthwhile, while 11 loans didn’t pass the test- for they are not aligned with government’s priorities.
The loans that didn’t get Museveni’s approval include the USD30M loan from Korea to Agriculture, USD100M for ambiguous poverty eradication from the Islamic Development Bank, the USD13.79M for the Islamic University In Uganda (IUIU), USD40M for Gender Based Violence (GBV), which the President said was baseless, USD200M for Fiscal Transfers and Fiscal Management and USD60M loan for Nutrition and Climate change which the President called vague.
Other loans not approved by the President are USD60M for Hunger eradication, quality of education and clean water, USD200M for Kampala-Jinja Expressway and USD101M loan for Household Incomes, Food Security and sustainable natural resource management, USD50M for Enhancing Value Chain for Agriculture and USD60M for Computers for farmers.
Museveni rejected it, saying that farmers need good farming practices, not computers.
Drawing his powers as Finance Minister, the president argued that hence forth, all loans brought to Parliament must have his approval before they are tabled on the floor of Parliament.
In the letter, Museveni urges Parliament to only process loans related to education, health, infrastructure and skills development to be donor funded, while the rest have to be funded by tax payers.
Loans approved by Museveni include Electricity Inter-connection-USD9.4M, Refugeees-USD50M, Navigation of Lake Victoria-USD14M, Kampala Roads-USD100M, Cancer treatment-USD11.5M, Agago Transmission Line-€40M, Electricity Inter-Connection-USD125M, Technical education-USD45M and Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)-USD2.9M.
Others are Electricity transmission Masaka-Mbarara-USD44M, Masaka Mbarara Transmission-USD39M, Tarmacking Kapchorwa-Suam road-USD88M, Electricity Transmission into 87 Sub-Counties-USD212M, Completion of the new Nile bridge-USD49.9M, Oil roads-USD303M and Kabaale International Airport-USD327M.