The government is optimistic that the proposed merger of government agencies , authorities and commissions will save the country up to 988.1 billion Shillings. The agencies totaling 153 have been spending 10.8 trillion Shillings annually on wages, rent and other operational costs.
But Cabinet has since approved a proposal to merge the institutions and mainstream their activities with their mother ministries. The affected institutions include the National Council for Higher Education, National Curriculum Development Centre and the Directorate of Industrial Training that have been merged into one Council.
Uganda Tourism Board, Uganda Wildlife Authority, Uganda Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Uganda Wildlife Education Centre will be mainstreamed to the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, while the Insurance Regulatory Authority, Uganda Retirement Benefits Authority, and Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority, have been merged to create specialized directorates from non-bank supervision within the Bank of Uganda.
Others mainstreamed to mother Ministries are; Uganda National Roads Authority to the Ministry of Works, National Identification and Registration Authority-NIRA to Ministry of Internal Affairs and National Information Technology Authority-NITA to the Ministry of ICT and Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority (UMRA) to the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Development among others.
According to the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Public Service Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire, the expenditure by the agencies stood at 37 percent of the national budget.
Under the new arrangement, Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries ministry will absorb National Agricultural Advisory Services, Uganda Trypanosomiasis Control Council, Dairy Development Authority, Uganda Coffee Development Authority and Cotton Development Organization.
The Lotteries and Gaming Regulatory Board and Departed Asians Properties Custodian Board were pushed to the Finance Ministry while the Electricity Generation, Transmission and Distribution and the Rural Electrification Agency will be merged in a process that will result into loss of jobs for over 70 Executive Directors.
However, Musingwiire says persons who will be laid off will get a compensation package.
Information Minister Frank Tumwebaze is optimistic that the move will help to align functions, structures and plans of government institutions and avoid overlaps and duplication of responsibilities. The process, he adds, is also intended to eliminate wasteful expenditure, create money for unfunded priorities and harmonize re-numeration.
But a number of institutions will be retained. These include Posta Uganda, Bank of Uganda, Uganda Development Bank, Housing Finance bank, Uganda Media Center, Uganda Broadcasting Corporation, Nile Hotel and International Conference center, Uganda Telecom, Uganda Institute of Information and Communication Technology, New Vision Printing and Publishing Corporation and all public universities.
Others retained are Kampala Capital City Authority, Uganda Communication Commission, Uganda National Bureau of Standards, and Uganda Bureau of Statistics and National Medical Stores, National Council of Sports, Law Development Centre, Uganda Management Institution, Nakivubo Stadium and Mandela National Stadium, Namboole, among others.
Tumwebaze says that the new structure will come into effect as soon as government harmonizes the legal framework.