PARLIAMENT – The request by Uganda Police Force to continue with the installation of Closed-circuit Television (CCTV) through a loan amounting to USD104M approximately Shs 389,038,643,297Bn from Standard Chartered Bank has been okayed by Parliament today.
The adoption of the proposal followed tabling of the report by the Committee of National Economy headed by former Finance Minister Syda Bumba although the Committee warned that the loan was too expensive.
The three year phased program started last year with now 1756 cameras already installed out of the 3233 cameras planned in different parts of the country.
While defending the loan request before Parliament, Obiga Kania, State Minister for Internal Affairs said that out of the installed cameras, 446 remain dormant as they wait to be connected but this is due to power system whose connections are being worked on to see them operate.
Minister Obiga said that on average of 100,000 cases per year and the current cost of investigating one criminal case at least Shs5M and if the cameras are installed, the cost to investigate will reduce to Shs2M per case and upon full completion of the project Uganda is to save Shs200Bn annually in investigation of cases.
It should be recalled that Government signed a contract of USD120,259,686.83 on 28th May 2018 with Huawei Technologies (Uganda) Co. for the provision of goods and services relating to the Uganda Safe City CCTV System and the loan facility will mature in 12 years, including 3 years of grace period and the interest on the loan is 8%.
However MPs raised concerns over the 8% interest on the loan describing it as is highly non concessional and expensive for the country given its low economic performance and the loan facility will come with other costs including Insurance premium of 8%, Commitment fee 0.3%o, upfront fee, agency fee and other embedded administrative costs.