KAMPALA- Former state minister for Finance Minister Fred Jachan Omach is the new chairman of the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) board of directors. He has been appointed on a three-year term.
Mr Omach, the former State minister for Finance (General duties), who was dropped in the post-election reshuffle becomes the new Board Chairperson for UNRA, replacing Ms Angella Kiryabwire [the outgoing chairperson].
Mr Omach, who is an appointee representing Private Sector Foundation Uganda, will serve with six other officials.
Other directors are Ms Allen Kagina [an ex-officio], Eng Sam Bagonza [Ministry of Works], , Dr Umar Bagambadde, Dr Joseph Muvawala, Mr Laban Mbulamuko [representing finance ministry] and Ms Petra Sansa Tenywa [Private sector
Inaugurating the new board at Serena Hotel in Kampala on Tuesday, the Minister of Works and Transport Ms Azuba Ntege, told the team to introduce more efficiency enhancement measures on top of their statutory duties to enable the government get value for money.
“In addition to your statutory duties, I am charging you with a new responsibility of streamlining the planning and budgeting at UNRA, monitor the programmes to ensure there is zero tolerance for corruption and monitor management performance to enable government get value for money,” said Ms Azuba.
“You are coming in at the time government is emphasising the need for zero tolerance to corruption, guide UNRA management to ensure that the authority assets are well documented and managed, have greater vigilance against fraud related activities,” she said.
“I expect you to continue with the objectives of helping the organisation achieve its objective and mandate,” added Ms Azubo, who is also an out-going board Member of UNRA.
Justice Lawrence Gidudu who presided over the swearing in urged the new board to walk the board in the field and not too sit in the board room of UNRA.
“This appointment imposes on you important responsibilities, take this board room to the field out there, walk it there and make sure what is planned and budgeted for is achieved,” said Justice Gidudu.
He urged UNRA to build the capacity of its engineers to start constructing roads in the country as an example rather than relying on ‘quacks’ in the private sector that cheat government.
The ne chairperson Mr Omach said the new board will work together with the technical management and staff at UNRA and the ministry of works and transport to improve efficiency and better the road network in the country for all Ugandans.
The executive director UNRA Ms Allen Kagina said the organisation has built capacity and was in the process of procuring its machinery to start constructing the roads in the country.
She explained that although UNRA has been able to pave 4157 km of the 20544 road network in the country, still 16 388 roads remain unpaved due to budgetary short falls and failure to acquire land from private individuals for development of the projects.
“I know that there were media reports about corruption in UNRA but this does not rub away the achievements we have registered as an institution. I know that we receive about 20% of the national budget higher than anybody else but this is still inadequate for our work,” said Ms Kagina.
“I know that there are also complaints about the unit cost of a tarmac road compared to other countries but we are studying this in relationship to the quality of the roads we do in Uganda,” she added.