By John Kusolo.
Kampala, Uganda: Vice President Jessica Alupo has called on stakeholders to review all the projects for which money has been borrowed.
The Vice President said while there are good strides made so far in both the economic growth and development of the country, a harmonized planning and zero tolerance toward corruption will place the country at a better position compared to where the country is currently.
The Vice President made the remarks during a meeting with officials from the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development, National planning Authority and Makerere University to Review the Mid-Term Government Review Performance at her office in Kampala.
The Vice President said that the country shouldn’t dedicate much of the budget in servicing the external debt since such actions will lead the country into perpetual borrowing to finance the programmes of Government.
“We should review the projects for which the country has borrowed the funds. We should review whether the funds borrowed are yielding dividends or will start to bring dividends whether from the short term, middle term or long term”. Said Alupo.
She added that returns on borrowed funds should closely be monitored and the interest on loans must not go beyond the agreed figures like the current 3%. We must stick to the law too.
“There must not be any more reckless Government borrowing except for priority productive programmes approved by the President. These include
industrialization, value addition, commercial agriculture, farming inputs and seeds and food growing”. She added.
On the issue of the economy growing but not expanding, the Vice President said this was an indication that the majority of the people who would play a key role in the economy are being left behind and hence the need to strengthen the Parish Development Model in the whole country.
The Vice President called upon all leaders to help demystify the misconception that Ugandans cannot maintain and manage local factories.
“We should nurture mindset change towards this and empower small factory hubs and
SMEs which can ably feed the bigger factories and industries”. Alupo stated.
On data management and usage, she stressed the need for a one stop centre for all Government data and iron out duplication as well as reduce on Government expenditure.
The Chairperson of National Planning Authority, Prof. Pamela K. Mbabazi said there is need to do away with policy distractions and impediments to development.
She said that Uganda is having many housing projects like skyscrapers but whose economic returns is questionable and with no occupants in them but which money for the sky rappers would be used to put up three factories and make jobs for the youths, taxes and exports for the country.
Mbabazi said that Uganda is seemingly increasing in foreign direct investments but the investments aren’t the right ones and this guidance on appropriate ventures must be approved by cabinet. The Principal College of Business and Management Sciences.
Dr. Eria Hisali said the country must pursue its own pipe line and refinery investment project which will be a sure source of own government money to finance its projects in a very short term and there will be no need of government borrowing.
“We should put money where we get the highest returns. We need reforms on policies which too can bring tangible results but which don’t attract monetary and budgetary implications on government”. Dr. Hisali said.