KAMPALA – Minister of Local government, Raphael Magyezi has reported an increase of revenue by 300% in municipalities of Jinja, Kiira, Lugazi and Mukono.
Magyezi, while presenting the sector’s performance of the NRM Manifesto said the municipalities were supported by the Tax Payer and Register Expansion Program (TREP).
“Jinja Central Division revenue increased from Ugx 1.5b in 2016/17 to Ugx 5b in 2018/19. Issuance/renewal of Trading License turnaround time reduced from 3 days to 25 Minutes. Reduced Tax administration costs by 80%,” he said.
He added that they intend to roll out the programme to more Municipalities.
He revealed that the ministry has provided funds for the construction of offices for 213 Town Councils and 17 Sub-County offices in order to strengthen the institution of Local Governments in those areas.
According to Magyezi, in order to strengthen the core mandate of the sector of inspection, the Ministry over the 5 years has procured 30 vehicles for this purpose.
“These regular inspections have resulted in improved performance of the LGs, this is evidenced by the increased number of unqualified reports by OAG,” he said.
He added that the Ministry also intends funds to procure 41 Vehicles for Mayors, 7 Vehicles for Chairperson of new Districts.
He said in order to create harmony between the Private Sector and the LGs involved in Park Collection Fees, the Ministry prepared a Statutory Instrument to guide the collection of tax and bus fees. “It is ready for tabling in Parliament and implementation.”
Magyezi further revealed that ministry has recruited over 40 staff within various specialties to inspect, monitor and offer guidance to Local Governments in the various fields for effective and efficient implementation of Government Programs.
“MoLG has developed guidelines for the utilization of District Development Equalisation Grant to provide for improvement of livelihoods by funding special interest groups. The Sub-County/Town Council/Division LG may use up to 80% of the District Development Equalization Grant (DDEG) to fund group activities,” he said.
According to him, 80 Assorted Agro-Processing Facilities have been installed country-wide with funding from projects supporting the ministry,
“These are: 33 Coffee Hullers, 2 Rice Hullers and 30 Maize Mills, 14 Milk Coolers and 1 Cocoa Bulk Centre. These facilities will provide storage, branding and value-addition to agricultural commodities that are produced by farmers in the region,” he explained.
He said the intervention will enhance agro-processing, value addition and incomes of farmers.
For Districts with Tourist Attraction and Tourism Potential, Magyezi said customisation of the structure was done and recruitment of Tourism Development Officers was done.
In order to alleviate Urban Poverty, and Improve Livelihoods, the Minister said 10 Markets are in the advanced level of construction and are due to be completed in 2020.
“Arua, Busia, Kasese, Kitooro-Entebbe, Moroto, Lugazi, Masaka, Mbarara, Soroti, Tororo. Kitgum and Kabale markets will be completed in 2021,” he said, adding “These Markets will make available stalls capable of employing about 22,000 Ugandans (60% being women).”
Magyezi further revealed that MoLG developed guidelines to guide operations in the market which he says have resolved Market conflicts among the vendors and market executive.
“They have enforced revenue collections to be paid to the LGs and cleanliness in the market,” he noted.
“In order to achieve Urban Growth, better planning and economic growth, the Ministry secured approval for the creation of 15 cities in a phased manner said Magyezi,” adding that “7 of the Cities will begin in FY 20/21, 3 Cities in FY 21/22 and 4 Cities in FY 22/23 and 1 City in FY 23/24.”
Magyezi said while accomplishing the planned commitments, along the way, some challenges such as sub-optimal staffing levels in LGs, limited local revenue generation, limited access to extension services by households and Inspection challenges due to limited resources at the centre.
He, however, said 22 out of the 28 areas committed, the sector achieved 78.5% of the planned commitments.