KAMPALA – The Minister of State for Energy, Simon D’Ujanga was quizzed by lawmakers on the Parliamentary Natural Resources Committee on why the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has refused to furnish the Ministry of Finance with documentations in order to secure $400M approximately UGX1.470T from World Bank.
The Committee had on Tuesday, December 17 summoned the Minister together with Godfrey Turyahikayo, Executive Director Rural electrification Agency to explain why it has taken the Ministry of Energy two years to submit the project implementation plan and safeguard documents to the Ministry of Finance and World Bank to process the funding of the project intended to connect 1 million Ugandans to the electricity national grid.
D’ujanga told the Committee that the Ministry of Energy is planning to submit these required documents by the end of January 2020 because the technocrats at the Ministry aren’t ready with submission and that the project is still at design stage.
The revelation angered MPs including Keefa Kiwanuka (Kiboga East) Anthony Okello (Kyoga County) and Florence Namayanja (Bukoto East) who warned that if the Ministry of Energy does not move fast on fulfilling the conditions set by the World Bank, Uganda risks losing the $400M fund intended to connect one million people on power grid to increase the demand for the new power generation.
Kiwanuka, who doubles as Chairperson Natural Resources Committee remarked, “The preparations that had started have now come to a stall, we can’t understand what is really happening. Either somebody is not interested in making sure we energise this country or is just frustrating the work of government and we find that unacceptable.”
However, D’Ujanga told the committee that there is need for the Ministry of Energy and Rural Electrification Agency to resolve the impasse shrouding the project and secure it to have power connection coverage increased.
He explained, “But I must confirm that this project is of interest to the nation and this project must be implemented in order to raise our coverage. There is no other way to implement this project, but we must follow the right procedure that we complete it without any delay.”
The Minister said that at the moment, there is an option by Rural Electrification Agency procuring the material in bulk and store it, but he deemed this proposal risky when it comes to the security of the items.
“This option I am advising against, is suggesting to procure materials in bulk and store somewhere, first of all REA doesn’t have stores, it means they must procure somebody to store these materials, the question of leakage isn’t to start, REA will not have the capacity to control those leakages that is what I am advising against. That we are bound to lose money and materials if we procure in bulk and store at third party’s premises,” said D’Ujanga.