Government to Halve Oil Fund Account This Year

The Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development is finalizing paperwork on including the expenditure of USD$ 33m (UGX 117bn) from the Petroleum Fund account in the coming budget of Financial Year 2017/2018.

ChimpReports has exclusively learnt that after failing to get Parliament’s clearance for the same money in December last year, more about the Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija instructed his technocrats to change tactics and instead include it in the coming budget to be read in June.

The government needs the money to urgently construct 10 roads connecting the oil producing areas in the Albertine region now termed as Oil Roads.

The 10 roads whose costs and feasibility studies are expected to be completed in April include Kyotera – Rakai (20km), Buhimba-Nalweyo-Kakindu-Kakumiro-Mubende (100km), Lusalira- Nkonge-Sembabule (97km), and Kabale – Kiziramfumbi road (30km), Wanseko-Bugungu (23km) and Hohwa-Nyairongo-Kyarushesha road (25km).

Other roads are Hoima-Butiaba-Wanseko road (111km), Masindi-Biiso (54km), Masindi-Bugungu via Murchison Falls National Park (80km), Kaseeta – Lwera via Bugoma Forest (16km).

According to the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) launched by the Energy Minister, Irene Muloni last month, the Central Processing Facility is going to be situated in Hoima hence the concentration of roads in the area.

When contacted on phone, Minister Kasaija confirmed that they are in the process of making sure Parliament appropriates USD$ 33m from the Petroleum Fund account for the construction of oil roads.

“The building of oil roads is among the top priorities in the budget this year and we have already included 33m dollars for them,” Kasaija said on phone.

We also understand that the government is processing a loan of Shs 1.8trillion from China for the same roads and Kasija confirmed the development on phone too.

The Petroleum Fund account is now remaining with USD$ 72m and the shillings account has 10bn. The reduction of USD$ 33m will make the dollar account remain with only USD$ 39 out of the total USD$ 690m so far collected by the government.

In 2014 Shs. 244bn from the same fund was used for the development of Karuma and Isimba dams.

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