The Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija has said that government has secured 2.25 trillion Shillings to among others address flooding, traffic congestion and un-signalized junctions in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area.
Kasaija made the statement on Thursday while delivering the Budget Speech for next financial year 2023/2024.
The total national budget for next financial is 52.7 trillion Shillings and out of this, an allocation of 4.5 trillion (13.3 percent) has been budgeted for road maintenance and construction, railway development and rehabilitation, water and air transport development.
Kasaija says that the 2.25 trillion Shillings for the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area will also address poor road infrastructure and unemployment in the area covering Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono and Mpigi districts and their municipalities.
“This will upgrade 504 km of roads including junction signalization in 8 urban authorities; rehabilitation of 30 storm water drainage points; upgrade 23 markets and construct 25 artisanal parks and industrial work spaces for small scale manufactures,” he said.
The funding is part of the bigger transport infrastructure interventions in the Budget whose key priorities are to improving the stock and quality of Infrastructure, expedite implementation of strategic interventions in innovation, research and development, boost household incomes, commercialize agriculture and improve competitiveness of agricultural products and others.
“Next financial year, we will substantially complete 16 national road projects including Atiak-Laropi, Moroto-Lokitanyala, Kawuku-Bwerenga, Namugonde-Bugiri, Nsambya-Mukwano, the Kampala Flyover and Rushere Town and Kyamate Access roads. In addition, priority will be accorded to the maintenance of existing road networks, both national and District Urban and Community Access Roads (DUCAR). The Bukungu-Kagwara-Kaberamaido (BKK) Ferry and related landing sites; and Lake Bunyonyi ferries and their landing sites will also be completed,” said Kasaija.
He added that the full rehabilitation of the Kampala – Malaba and Tororo – Gulu Metre Gauge railways will commence next financial year, noting that 49 percent of the right of way for the Kampala -Malaba Standard Gauge railway has been acquired.
Kasaija added that the construction of the Malaba – Kampala Standard Gauge Railway will also commence next financial year and that a total of 535 billion Shillings has been provided.
“An allocation of 1 billion has been provided to each District, City and Municipality for road grading, murram and compacting. In total, 176 billion has been allocated for this purpose,” the Minister added.
Speaking about air transport sector, Kasaija told parliament and invited dignitaries that the redevelopment and expansion of Entebbe International Airport is 85 percent complete, and due to be completed by July 2024.
He added that the construction of Kabalega International Airport now stands at 91.7 percent and will be completed by September this year.
“We shall also rehabilitate and upgrade the following aerodromes that are under feasibility studies: Kidepo, Pakuba, Mbarara, Gulu, Arua, Kisoro and Kasese,” said Kasaija.
The Budget theme has been maintained as “Full Monetization of Uganda’s Economy through Commercial Agriculture, Industrialization, Expanding and Broadening Services, Digital Transformation and Market Access.”
The 52.7 trillion total national budget is to be financed with 29.7 trillion, of which 27.4 trillion is tax revenue and2.3 trillion Non-Tax Revenue (NTR).
Domestic borrowing amounts to 3.2 trillion, budget support accounts for 2.8 trillion, external financing for projects 8.3 trillion (3.01 trillion grants and 5.3 trillion loans), Appropriation in Aid, collected by Local Governments 287 billion, Domestic Debt Refinancing will amount to 8.4 trillion, and other financing is 229.0 billion.
Out of the total expenditure 52.7 trillion, government will spend 7.3 trillion on wages and salaries and 13.5 trillion on Non-wage Recurrent Expenditure.
Government’s development expenditure amounts to 6.1 trillion while external project support financing is 8.3 trillion. Government also plan to spend 215.8 billion on settling domestic arrears and external debt repayments of 2.6 trillion and interest payments of 6.1 trillion, will be made.
In her statement, Speaker of Parliament Anita Among expressed dismay by the continued stagnation of Local Government financing saying that this stifles economic growth.
President Yoweri Museveni delivered his Budget remarks via Zoom and he noted that it was imperative for the country to reduce on public borrowing or even not borrow at all.
The President also reiterated his message on value addition saying that now that Uganda has good roads, electricity and building railway system, effort must be made to add value to all the country’s products.