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Deputy IGG Grill Lira City Leaders Over USIMD Projects :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Deputy IGG Grill Lira City Leaders Over USIMD Projects

Freddie Owiny, the project manager attributed the delays of the project on COVID-19, delayed release of contractual documents, and relocation of utility infrastructures such as UMEME and water pipes. Adding that the incompetence of the contractor and weak contractual agreement which does not favor termination of contract are also to blame.
Dr. Patricia Achan Okiria inspecting works at the children park in the company of City leaders (Photo by Immaculate Amony)

Audio 5

The Deputy Inspector General of Government has grilled authorities at Lira City council over the slow progress of Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructural Development- Additional Financing (USMID- AF) Projects.

USMID- AF was under cluster 2 in which Apac, Lira and Moroto district procured a single contractor to undertake the Works. Lira City signed a contract with M/S Al Nuaimi Group and Abubakar Technical Services joint venture to execute the construction works of six roads, and two parks; Coronation and children’s park at a cost of Shs. 35bn from 10th May 2021 to 9th August 2022.

The project was first extended from August 2022 to May 2023 and another special dispensation was provided from November 2023 to date. However, despite all the extensions, work is still incomplete.

A monitoring report presented by a team from the IG’s office indicate that works of beautification of the Numa grounds (tipper stage) and the repair of existing street lights have not yet commenced even when the USMID- AF program for the city is expected to end in two weeks’ time. The other projects like children park is said to be at most 95% complete but works such as land scalping, planting of grass and fixing the lake sand is yet to be done.

Speaking during a USMID evaluation meeting on Friday, Dr. Patricia Achan Okiria, the Deputy IGG grilled the city leaders, demanding for an explanation as to why the project is still not complete, wondering why money should be sent back to the treasury when work it meant for is incomplete.

As at June 12th 2024, Lira City council had a balance of over Shs.11Bn for infrastructure in their USMID- AF MDG account.

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She then gave the contractor up to Tuesday next week to write to her office giving a detailed report on what is happening in the project and how they intend to beat the deadline. Adding that actions will be taken later basing on the content of the report.

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In his response, Freddie Owiny, the project manager attributed the delays of the project on COVID-19, delayed release of contractual documents, and relocation of utility infrastructures such as UMEME and water pipes. Adding that the incompetence of the contractor and weak contractual agreement which does not favor termination of contract are also to blame.

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Sam Atul, the Lira City Mayor raised concerns over the capability and effectiveness of local contractors in implementing the projects saying Ugandan contractors are incompetent.

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Atul also want the government to use competent people to design and implement projects for proper accountability.

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USMID- AF is a five-year World Bank funded program which started in the financial year 2018/2019 to enhance the institutional capacity of selected municipal/ cities in local governments to improve urban service delivery.

Lira City Council received a total of UGX 61,572,708,829 as USMID-AF from FY 2019/2020 to FY 2023 /2024. However, with every end of financial year, some funds were sent back to the consolidated fund and not all of it returned in the subsequent FY. For example, a sum of Shs.36Bn was sent back to Treasury leaving the City with a total of Shs.35.9Bn as available funds for USMID-AF after return of some funds from the consolidated fund.