The Ministry of Works and Transport is set to spend Shs4.2Bn that will be used for synchronisation of the computerized-driving permit with the National identification database.
The details of the expenditure are contained in a report by the Parliament Committee on Physical Infrastructure on the 2018/2019 Ministerial Policy statement and budget estimates for the Ministry of Works.
While appearing before the Committee to defend their report, the Works Ministry said the new system will be critical at supporting the automation of the licensing system.
At the moment, there exists no known points of interface between the computerized driving permits and the National identification and registration database under the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA).
The MPs argued that such an interface would help in tracking motorists and holding them accountable for their actions and inactions on the road and would help in enhancing the collection of revenue from the express penalty scheme.
In their recommendations to Parliament, the Committee called on the Ministry to finalise the transitional plan for the Uganda Computerized Driving Permit (UCDP), as well as liaise with NIRA in creating points of interface with the NIRA database.
The development comes at a time when Traffic Police recently revealed that it owes Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) over Shs5 billion in unpaid fines by traffic offenders, with the Central Police Station alone being stuck with more than 2,000 driving permits that were abandoned by errant drivers.
In a related development, Parliament has advised government to undertake a phased manner in the revamping of Uganda Airlines if the Executive is to avoid making losses.
The report highlighted that whereas Uganda is in the process of re-establishing a national carrier with Shs120Bn earmarked to procure four air crafts in FY2018/2019, the decision coincides with that of the African Union Commission which is in the advanced stages of creating the continental airlines aimed at opening up Africa’s skies and markets and improve intra-African air connectivity by granting unrestricted air traffic rights to established civil aviation companies.
The MPs warned that the effect of this initiative on countries like Uganda, which are yet to establish national carriers, is that a new airline will experience a lot of difficulty in staying afloat in a competitively open aviation sphere.
They argued that the plan if adopted, will increase competition for routes within Africa; with the bigger more established African carriers poised to reap immediate gains over the smaller relatively more recent entrants.
This, they argued,will also inhibit the realisation of the aspiration of Vision 2O2O to turn Entebbe International Airport into a regional hub.
The Committee called for the re-establishment of Uganda airlines be gradually starting with the building of capacity, preferably through developing domestic and regional aviation before plunging into the bigger international aviation market that is currently dominated by bigger continental airlines with stronger financial muscles and a high level of market dominance.