Finance Ministry Directs NCS to Identify Priority Areas for Funding

The Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development has directed the National Council of Sports-NCS to identify priority areas to be funded by the government amidst the limited resources. 

This was among the resolutions that were arrived at in a meeting between the officials of the National Council of Sports, Sports Federation Presidents, and the Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, Patrick Ochailap at the Ministry of Finance headquarters Wednesday.

The meeting followed complaints by the NCS and the Sports Federation Presidents about the limited resources allocated to the sports sub-sector when the ministry was releasing funds for the second quarter of the financial year 2022/2023.    

While reading the 2022/23 financial year budget, the Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaijja indicated that the sports sector had registered a record budget increment to Shillings 47.81 billion from Shillings 18 billion provided in the last financial year.  

Although the NCS and the Sports Federations welcomed the development, saying that it would boost the sports sub-sector, they are yet to see the money as the financial year enters the second quarter. NSC has only received Shillings of 2.3billion of the 47.81 billion allocated to the sector this quarter and didn’t receive a coin in the previous quarter. 

The NCS general Secretary, Dr. Bernard Patrick Ogwel, said that the money is insufficient to facilitate 51 Federations that have different budgets.

He said they have asked now asked for 14 billion Shillings on top of the 2.3 billion Shillings provided.  “I have in total requested 14.2 billion but the treasury cannot give us all the money so we are reviewing to see the priority that we have to consolidate and present,” Ogwel told URN shortly after the meeting.

“I’m now going to task the Federations to prioritize based on the guidance provided such that we are able to resubmit and possibly by the end of the week we have some resources come through,” he added.     

Speaking to journalists after the meeting,  Ochailap said he had tasked the NCS to deal with the respective Federations and come up with revised priorities that will need immediate funding.

Robert Jaggwe, the President of the Uganda Table Tennis Association- UTTA, said they were already constrained by a limited budget for their Association. He said initially they had budgeted 700 million Shillings, which they later reduced to 200 million Shillings.

Moses Magogo, the President of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations- FUFA said the federation has conducted several activities including sending several national teams to international competitions with limited funding, which has stretched the Federation into many debts.

Between July and October, several national football teams including Sand Cranes, Crested Cranes. Uganda Cranes, and Uganda Cubs among others have engaged in international competitions, which Magogo says have left them with many debts.  

It should however be noted that FUFA takes the lion’s share of the budget. To be precise, 17 billion Shillings out of the 47.8 billion Shillings allocated to the sports sector was ring fenced for FUFA with Shillings 5 billion specifically going to women’s football development. In the last financial year, FUFA bagged Shillings 10 billion out of the Shillings 18 billion allocated to the entire sector.  

Magogo said that FUFA was on the verge of withdrawing some of the National teams from International competitions because of lack of facilitation. “If we did not get this kind of assurance we were withdrawing teams from competitions because we can nolonger finance them over six months without any revenue as far as national teams are concerned. We are constrained as the national Federation but let’s hope this will get a solution,” he said. 

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