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IG Queries UGX 206 Million Valley Dams Project in Agago

James Peny-Wii, the Director of Project Risk, Monitoring and Control at IG, says that reports indicated the beneficiaries lost a great share of the project fund to the contractor in procuring equipment.
The IG Director James Penywii monitors the newly excavated Anyami valey tank in Adilang Subcounty, Agago District on Friday.

Audio 6

The Inspectorate of Government- IG has launched an investigation into the procurement of a local contractor that carried out de-silting and rehabilitation works of two valley dams in Agago District at 206 Million Shillings. 

This follows allegations made by local leaders on suspected irregularities in the processes undertaken to procure the contractor for construction works on Anyami Valley Dam and Acuku Community dam in Adilang and Lamiyo Sub-counties respectively. 

The two projects funded by the government under Northern Uganda Social Action Fund Phase Three-NUSAF3 are meant to provide water for livestock production to livestock farmers.

The community procurement committee-CPMC under the two projects with backing from some district officials is alleged to have approved an abnormally high budget for the procurement of Gene Ber Ent Ltd.

James Peny-Wii, the Director of Project Risk, Monitoring and Control at IG, says that reports indicated the beneficiaries lost a great share of the project fund to the contractor in procuring equipment.

//cue in: “Initially it was…

Cue out:…got that approval.”//

He also notes that the procurement of the contractor by the CPMC was irregular but notes that their investigation will inform them of what exactly occurred.

  //cue in: “The other problem…

Cue out:…what irregularity occurred.”//

According to information obtained by Uganda Radio Network, Agago District in the financial year 2020/2021 received 307.3 Million Shillings from the government for rehabilitation of three dams in Lamio, Adilang, and Omiya Pachwa Sub counties.

In Adilang Sub-county, a total of 74.3 Million Shillings was allocated for the rehabilitation of Anyami valley tank aimed at benefiting 168 livestock farmers.

But according to a budget presented by the site engineer Francis Anywar on Friday, 50.5 Million Shillings of the total project was used to procure Gene Ber Ent Ltd while only 11.1 million shillings were left for labour-intensive works by beneficiaries.

Peny-wii noted that the budget for contracting equipment to de-silt the valley tank was abnormally high at about 80 percent yet the Government intended to have the bulk of the fund left for the beneficiaries.

//cue in: “The approved budget…

Cue out:…money for equipment.”//

According to Bright Okuk, a Labour Intensive Public Works Specialist at the Office of the Prime Minister, the OPM has a guideline of not approving beyond 50 percent of the budget from districts for procurement of equipment.

Okuk tasked the district officials especially the NUSAFIII Desk officer and the district Engineer on whether they got approval from the OPM to proceed with the procurement of a contractor for the project.

Richard Akena, the Secretary of Anyami Valley Tank Construction Group says they opted to procure a contractor with an excavator to beat the dateline for the project.

Each of the group members, according to the NUSAFIII guidelines were to work for a maximum of 54 days excavating the valley tank while earning a daily payment of Shillings 5,500.

Luo

//cue in: “Ma wa dugu…

Cue out:…lwongo ni contractor.”//

Akena says the group sourced for the contractor through local shopping adding that the contractor was awarded the contract after bid documents and the contractor's quotation was presented and approved by the district engineer.

Luo

//Cue in: “Gene ber Ent…

Cue out:…Otiyo wa icawani.”//

The IGG officials in their visit to the district also found that the same contractor Gene Ber Ent Ltd was awarded another contract for desilting Acuku Community Dam in Lamiyo Sub-county worth 92 million for 259 beneficiaries.

According to the findings, the contractor despite only accomplishing 60 percent of the work had already been paid 79 Million Shillings. 

Agago LCV Chairperson Leonard Ojok Opio noted that the procurement processes were conducted without the knowledge of the local authorities and government representatives in the district.

// Cue in: “The suspicious way...

Cue out:…I dint know.”//

Ojok however faulted the government for the project design under NUSAFIII that gives the beneficiaries more powers to conduct procurement minus the direct involvement of the district leaders.

Agnes Prosy Atim however maintains that the district followed the necessary processes in procuring for the contractor adding that they also got approval from OPM to proceed with procuring equipment at 80 percent for Anyami valley tank.