State House seeks UGX12Bn renovation.

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State House Ntebbe / File photo

The President’s office is requesting a budgeted allocation of 12.33 billion shillings to rebuild the State House in Entebbe as well as 23 upcountry State lodges.

The State House in Entebbe, which was built in 2007, has received no substantial renovation and requires a retouch, according to State Minister for Economic Monitoring Peter Ogwang, who spoke to the Presidential Affairs Committee of Parliament.

“No major renovations have been done to the Entebbe State House since it was built 15 years ago, and some of us who go there can testify that it requires major renovations,” Ogwang remarked. He also stated that the State lodges must be renovated in order for the President to conduct out upcountry activities.

While presenting the State House policy statement for the financial year 2022/2023, Ogwang made the proposal. The National Budget Framework Paper, which was filed before parliament by the Minister of Finance in December, is presently being examined by Parliament’s committees.

During the meeting, the committee also recommended that the State House boost the budget for the Presidential Initiative on Model Villages, claiming that the current allocation of two billion Shillings is insufficient and has had no impact.

“The entire country has been working on only two billion dollars,” committee chairperson Jessica Ababiku explained. “As a result, if you go to villages, you will not see any model villages because the two billion dollars are spent on operations and management.” She went on to say that it was vital for State House to recognize that the failure of presidential initiatives has an impact on the President’s image, which is why they should advocate for appropriate funding to build the model communities that are sought.

Meanwhile, MPs expressed concern about the multiple government entities tasked with overseeing government initiatives, questioning whether this was not a duplication of efforts and a waste of resources.

In response, Ogwang said that he was collaborating with the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, the Inspector General of Government’s office, and the Uganda Police Force. He added that this was a novel and successful method of combating corruption since it eliminates the possibility of corrupt individuals corrupting a single institution.

“There are some people who believe they are untouchable,” he added. “As a result, we now have a team comprising technical professionals from the necessary anti-corruption authorities,” he added. The committee gave the Minister until Friday, January 14, 2022, to submit a new budget paper with Parliament’s proposals and justifications to the committee.

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