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Review of the National Development Plan hangs in balance

National Planning Authority executive director Dr. Joseph Muvawala (left) stresses a point while appearing before the committee. Photo by Vincent Kasozi.

KAMPALA–The National Planning Authority (NPA) has no funds to review the National Development Plan.

According to the comprehensive planning framework, both the 10-year and 5-year strategic plans require mid-term and end of term reviews.

However, the necessary funds for the exercise have never been availed to the authority.

The executive director of the authority, Dr. Joseph Muvawala, says it would be pointless and a disaster to develop a new development plan without completing the review process.

Muvawala was meeting the Finance committee of Parliament this morning alongside the State minister for planning David Bahati.

He notes that the midterm review of the current NDP II that runs until 2020 has to be done by December 2018.

“This plan is two and a half years done, the midterm review has to be done by December so it is important that we find ways within government to raise resources for midterm review,” he told MPs.

The concept note on the NDP2 midterm review and the NDP1 end of term review indicates that the cost of both activities will be Shs4b and Shs3.6b respectively.

Dr. Muvawala also informed the committee that in line with the President’s directive to recruit scientists, the authority will require Sh1.2b for their wages and related costs.

He notes that the institution has already advertised the positions of 6 scientists who will be assisting in areas of planning for the industrialization of the economy. He stated that they will be guiding on feasibility studies and general planning.

“It was a directive and we need to put these people in place for planning the industries, you know we have been talking about industrialization but be we have not been planning these industries,” he said.

It has also been revealed that NPA requires Shs2.1b to fulfil its annual subscription obligations to the African Peer Review mechanism.

The APRM is a voluntary self-monitoring mechanism in which AU member states evaluate each other’s quality of governance.

Uganda is set to be reviewed this month at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa with President Museveni expected to attend.

However, according to the NPA, the unpaid annual membership fees could turn out to be an embarrassment to the nation.

The annual subscription is $200.000 (Shs720m) but Uganda owes the APRM AU arrears amounting to $400.000 (about 1.4b).

Dr. Muvawala pointed out that even though a supplementary of Shs1.8b has been provided to clear the arrears, no funds have been allocated for the membership fee in the next fiscal year.

James Acidri, the Maracha East county MP queried the relevance of the expenditure by asking the NPA officials to show how the APRM findings have been applied in policy planning.

“Can you provide us evidence of how the findings have actually been used either to improve planning or implementation of government policies and programs, because that is important for us to appreciate that this commitment of 200.000 dollars is essential,” he said.

The minister of state for planning David Bahati promised to furnish the committee with evidence of how government executed the recommendations of the first APRM report.

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