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Gov’t Struggles to Sustain New Schools, Health Facilities

The increase in administrative units may affect the Uganda Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers (UGIFT) program, the Finance Ministry has warned.

Established in 2017, UGIFT aims at improving the adequacy and equity of fiscal transfers and improving the fiscal management of resources by Local Governments for health and education services.

Under the program, the government is supposed to construct seed secondary schools and a health center III in every sub-county, establish a technical school in every county, and build a public university in every sub-region.

Although the Government has constructed public universities in other sub regions, Bugisu and Karamoja remain without one.

Similarly, the Government has been unable to construct a seed secondary school and health centre III in every sub- county.

The Ministry of Finance blames this on resource constraints, caused by the establishment of many new administrative units.

The Minister of State for Finance in charge of General Duties, Henry Musasizi, while appearing before the Parliamentary Committe on Government Assurances on Tuesday, said funds under the Uganda Inter-Governmental Fiscal Transfers Program have been provided to local governments since FY 2018/19 to construct schools.

To date, 102 schools have been completed and operational, while 126 are at various stages of completion.

Musasizi, however, cautioned that an increase in administrative units might affect this policy of having a seed secondary school and health centre III, in every sub-county, given the resource constraint.

He said establishing a technical school per county was also delayed because of limited resources.

In the lead up to the 2021 general elections, the Government created many new administrative units that included hundreds of sub counties, constituencies, 10 municipalities and 10 cities.

The proliferation of administrative units in Uganda has been a topic of discussion, particularly regarding their impact on service delivery.

It is becoming evident that the creation of many new administrative units is having clear financial complications.

Regarding the Policy on Public Universities, Musasizi said Bugisu and Karamoja still have no public university being provided for under the UGIFT program.

He, however, noted that the Government has established constituency colleges in the two sub-regions.

“Busitema University is establishing a college of medicine in Mbale, while Gulu University is establishing a college in Moroto and Kotido,” he said.

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