By Hanning Mbabazi
Kampala: Government, through the State Minister for Planning, David Bahati, on Thursday tabled a request to parliament for a loan equivalent to USD456.37m (Shs1.7 trillion) from China Exim Bank, to facilitate the completion of national oil roads in the South Western region.
When the loan is approved, money for the construction of roads shall be delivered in three packages; 1, 2 and 3, covering a total of 363 kilometres. The total contract sum for the three packages shall be USD536.92m (Shs2.02 trillion). The first roads to be constructed will be; “Design and construction of Masindi (Kisanja)-Park Junction and Tangi (Pakwach) junction-Paraa-Buliisa and Wanseko-Bugungu roads upgrading projects, measuring about 159KMs.” Second roads involve “Civil Works for the upgrading of Hoima-Butiaba-Wanseko road, measuring 111KMs to paved standard.
Third to be worked will be the construction of Buhimba-Nalweyo-Bulamagi and Bulamagi-Igayaza-Kakumiro roads measuring 93kms. The deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah, referred the matter to the House Committee on National Economy for scrutiny and recommendations. The Committee is expected to report back within a period of 45 days. In the proposal, the government premises its request on the projection of having this done by 2020. “In order to achieve this target, key enabling infrastructure, such as road network, must be in place,” part of letter addressed to the Speaker reads.
The total projection for oil roads is 700KMs. It should be noted that Government signed a contract with China Railway Seventh Group in March for designing and constructing a 97KM road connecting Masindi-Biso, Kabaale-Kizirafumdi and Hohwa-Nyairongo-Kyarushesha-Butole. Mark Sali, the head of public and corporate affairs at the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), said that “The benefit of the loan is that UNRA will be able to finance the construction of these roads quickly and get them ready to facilitate oil production.” If Parliament approves the loan, government will only be left with three packages; 4, 5 and 6 which cover 301km