The Committee on National Economy has directed the Uganda Development Bank (UDB) to provide details of the loans it has disbursed and their tangible benefits to the country’s economy.
The committee was meeting with Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development officials accompanied by the Managing Director of UDB, Patricia Ojangole to discuss the utilisation of loans by UDB. This took place on Tuesday, 14 March 2023.
Ojangole presented a report on the loans UDB had received and issued to entities in various sectors and the rate at which they had been utilised.
However, this aroused a debate from Members of Parliament on how exactly they were to use the information they referred to as insufficient to evaluate and assess the impact of the loans on the economy.
Hon. Moses Kabuusu (FDC, Kyamuswa County) said the quest of Parliament on this matter was to fully appreciate the loan performance using all the information available from UDB.
“We want the details like the interest rate of these loans, the beneficiaries and their impact on the economy so that we have a clear picture of the progress achieved,” he said.
Kwania County MP, Hon. Tonny Ayoo said that the performance of the lines of credit provided in the information by UDB were not sufficient for the committee to understand the impact of the loans.
He noted that stating the number of jobs created, the resulting tax contribution and the output value of the jobs created is not enough to understand if the loans impacted the nation.
“We cannot use the information given to understand the full scale impact of the jobs created, who the actually beneficiaries are and the sectors in which these jobs are created,” Ayoo added.
The Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. John Bosco Ikojo agreed with the members and requested information on the interest rates of the loans attained and the interest rates of the loans given out by UDB.
Hon. Denis Oguzu Lee (FDC, Maracha County) added that the committee needs to also know the criteria for the selection of the loan beneficiaries and the activities put in place to utilise the loans.
“It is prudent for the legislators on this committee to know if indeed the loans acquired at the national level are useful for the economy in the sense that every region and sector is benefiting,” he said.
The Minister of State for Finance, Hon. Henry Musasizi promised that UDB would provide the information on the sectors that benefited, the economic impact and all other details as requested.