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UNRA Returns UGX 3bn to Treasury

UNRA head of finance and Accounts, Kwesiga Brazza explains that the body, mandated to develop and maintain national roads, failed to spend shillings 3.4 billion due to failure to recruit new staff.
18 Jul 2019 10:28

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Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA returned 3.4 billion shillings to the consolidated fund at the end of the 2018/2019 financial year.   

UNRA head of finance and Accounts, Kwesiga Brazza explains that the authority failed to spend 3.4 billion shillings due to failure to recruit new staff.     

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According to a report of the Accountant General, Lawrence Ssemakula, UNRA was expected to spend 1.8 billion shillings on salaries for contract staff and shillings 1.3 billion on insurance in UNRA’s development budget. However, these funds, amounting to shillings 3.4 billion were unspent by the end of the financial year.   

 

Kwesiga confirmed that UNRA returned the money because it stopped recruiting staff last September when cabinet published a new structure to merge authorities and agencies.

In the new structure, approved on September 8, 2018, UNRA would become a department in the Ministry of Works and Transport and it would be headed by a commissioner. Currently, UNRA is a semi-autonomous authority headed by an Executive Director-Allen Kagina. 

Following the news of restructuring, Kagina wrote to staff, noting that she did not expect the decision will happen in the short run as “most of the affected institutions were set up by Acts of Parliament and can only be repealed by another Act.”

However, Kwesiga says that management took a decision not to recruit any more staff, pending the implementation of the new structure. 

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In 2017/2018 report of the Auditor General, it was noted that UNRA returned shillings 2.9 billion to the Consolidated Fund out of shillings 2.3 trillion released.

The Auditor-General noted that failure to utilize funds in a timely manner implies weaknesses in cash flow planning which impacts on the delivery of planned interventions and associated outputs.  

The report, however, indicated that UNRA management attributed the failure to spend the funds to late release from Uganda Road Fund.

UNRA explained that the shillings 2.9 billion that was returned as part of shillings 1.8 billion that was received on 26th June 2018, three days to the end of the financial year. Also, much of the returned funds were received in May 2018 and therefore, UNRA had insufficient time to fully utilize the released funds.

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