The Ministry of Finance has withdrawn from parliament a loan
proposal of 386 Billion Shillings that was meant to finance the
upgrading of oil roads in the Albertine Graben.
The roads include the 54-kilometre Masindi-Biiso
road, 25 kilometres of Hohwa-Nyairongo-Kyarushesha-Butole, and 25.7
kilometres of Kabaale-Kiziranfumbi road.
The loan equivalent to Euros 96.3 million was tabled
before Parliament last week by the Government Chief Whip, Thomas Tayebwa and government
indicated that it was being sought from the China Construction Bank
Now, while appearing before Parliament’s National
Economy Committee to defend the loan proposal, Henry Musasizi, the Minister of
State for Finance- General Duties indicated that government has noticed that it
can finance the project without borrowing externally.
He withdrew the loan request from consideration by
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Allan Atugonza, the Buliisa County MP wondered whether the government has enough money to compensate the project-affected persons saying
that he was hopeful that the people would be compensated in time when the loan
request was tabled before the House.
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Nathan Byanyima, the Bukianga North MP said that the
move by the government to withdraw the loan proposal had taken him aback yet the country
is grappling with poor roads all over the country. He said that the government
would have used this loan window to help with the oil roads and the money
available at hand is used for road maintenance in different parts of the country.
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Byanyima demanded an explanation from the Ministry
of Finance in regard to the source of the new money that is going to be used
for the oil roads and what their plan is regarding maintenance of the different
roads across the country that are in a poor state.
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Fred Kayondo, the Mukono South MP also said that the
move by government to withdraw a loan request in a space of one week raises a
number of questions in regard to planning by the Ministry.
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Before the Minister responded to the queries raised
by the MPs, the committee asked journalists to leave the meeting room saying
that they needed to have an internal interaction.
Construction work on the oil roads started in April
2019 by the China Railway Seventh Group Company Limited. It includes widening
of the roads, light grading and opening up of drainage structures, offshoots,
drainage drifts, filling potholes, rock blasting, crushing of base course and
concrete aggregate, excavation, and clearing of topsoil.