The Government of Uganda has released Shs26.1 billion for road maintenance works in districts, cities and municipalities for the fourth quarter of the 2022/23 financial year.
A circular issued by the Uganda Road Fund, dated April 17, 2023 indicates that Shs16.4 billion has been sent to 135 districts, town councils and their sub counties, Shs3.3 billion goes to 10 cities, while Shs6.4 billion goes to 31 municipalities, bringing the total amount to Shs26.1 billion.
“The Uganda Road Fund received funds from MoFPED on 17/04/2023 and has today 17/04/2023 disbursed funds to Local Governments for the maintenance of various categories of public roads in Q4 of FY 2022/23.
The funds are released against the work plan you provided and annexed to your FY 2022/23 Performance Agreement,” the circular addressed to the accounting officers of the recipient entities reads in part.
“The Q4 funds disbursed to you should be deployed to improve conditions of the network by use of force account to immediately implement the works schedule in your respective programs in line with the Force Account Guidelines August 2017,” the circular adds.
Some town councils have received as little as Shs12 million, while a number of districts also got as low as Shs39 million to maintain the roads up to the end of this financial year, with rains already setting in.
Many roads in different parts of the country, particularly the district and community access roads are in sorry states, with social media users yesterday launching Uganda pothole roads exhibition, especially in Kampala city by sharing photos of potholes on social media.
Mr Andrew Naimanye, the, Executive Director/Secretary to the Board, however, warned the accounting officers to ensure that the funds are not lost through corruption and garnishing.
“ Accounting Officers should ensure that road maintenance funds are not lost through garnishment by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), diversion or corrupt practices,” he warned.
Mr Naimanye asked Chief Administrative Officers of the respective district Local Governments to urgently transfer the funds for the Town Councils under their votes.
“The funds for maintenance of district roads should be transferred to the works account immediately.
The CAOs remain accountable to the URF for funds so transferred to sub agencies as agreed in the performance agreements,” he said.
He also said agencies should implement road maintenance works on only road schemes approved in the already signed performance agreements between DAs and URF.
According to him, the operational guidelines show the eligible expenditure heads and accountability procedures among others and warned that agencies should desist from diversion of funds and expenditures on capital expenditures.
No district allowed to use money for machine repairs
According to him, districts, cities and municipalities can only carry out minor equipment repairs/maintenance services for both the old and new road equipment, while major repairs such as engine overhaul, replacement of major parts, and others should be undertaken at the Regional Mechanical Workshops of Bugembe, Mbarara and Gulu.
“Ministry of Works and Transport has made provisions for these facilities.
Accountability of the use of these funds by the designatedagencies to the Road Fund shall remain the responsibility of the Accounting Officer of the Designated Agency.
Agencies should immediately provide general receipts to URF as soon as funds are received without further prompting,” he said.
He said all the available funds so far received by URF have been allocated and that agencies should not expect any additional releases during the quarter.