The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) board has endorsed a second term for Ms Allen Kagina and explained why her five-year contract should be renewed.
Ms Kagina, whose five-year tenure as executive director of UNRA started on May 1, 2015, expires in April. The former Uganda Revenue Authority boss succeeded Mr Bernard Kimeze Sebugga as the head of the roads authority.
The board members through their March 2017 to March 2020 report titled: “Board of Directors End of Term Report,” have written to Gen Katumba Wamala, the Works minister, recommending a second term for Ms Kagina. The report highlights achievements and challenges Ms Kagina encountered during her five-year term as director.
“It was noted that the executive director assumed office on the May 1, 2015, on a five-year contract with an option to renew for one more term in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Unra Act. The Board evaluated the performance of Ms Kagina which was exceeding expectation and took a decision to recommend to the minister to renew her contract,” the report read in part.
Gen Katumba is expected to review the board report before renewing Kagina’s contract.
Although Ms Kagina and Gen Wamala were unreachable for comments, the new findings in Mr Fred Omach’s board casts favourable light on Ms Kagina’s tenure.
“During the three years of March 2017 to December 31, 2019, the total National Road Network increased the construction of roads to 20,856km from 20,544km due to 312km of roads that were added to the national road Network by the Ministry of Works and Transport,” the report indicated in part.
“A total of 814kms were substantially completed between 2017 and 2019. In the same period and particularly 2018/2019, the Authority registered the highest ever number of kilometres constructed in any given financial year since Unra’s inception, of 420km,” the report added.
According to the board, Ms Kagina registered a 97 per cent availability rate for ferry operations.
“The national roads network was kept in fair to good condition over and above the NDPII target of 85 per cent and 70 per cent respectively. Overloading on the national road network reduced from 4.8 per cent to 3.8 per cent for the previous years to 3 per cent in the year of reporting, while ferry operations registered a 97 per cent availability rate,” the reported stated.
“The board is glad to report that as of Dec 31st 2019 the number of approved internal policies, manuals and regulations has been increased from 4 to 17,” it added.
The board highlights Ms Kagina’s challenges particularly, delayed negotiations for the Exim Bank loan. This loan was supposed to finance the critical oil roads in the country.
“As at January 1, 2020, the certified works were equivalent to Shs435.5 billion, out of which Shs114 billion has been paid and Shs321.5 billion is pending payment, with the dollar component accruing interest at libor two per cent and shillings component at Bank of Uganda two per cent,” the board stated.
“Government has not yet completed negotiations for the loan from China Exim Bank. Most importantly, the loan negotiations must be completed expeditiously to avert Government’s continued defaulting on the obligations under the pre-financing agreements.
This will not only increase the projects but will also have adverse effects on the timely implementation of oil projects,” the board further said. Some projects were hampered by whistle-blowers and possible bidders were scared off.
“Procurement for projects faced major delays due to the numerous whistle-blowers and administrative reviews affecting the ability of the entity to procuring contracts on time. This adversely affected the performance of the Procurement Plan for the Financial Year 2017/2018,” the report indicted.