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BUDGET: Gov’t Finally Commits Oil Cash

Uganda's secretary to the treasury, Keith Muhakanizi

The government has for the first time openly committed portion of the oil revenues to the budget of financial year 2017/2018.

In the Shs29 trillion budget passed by Parliament on Wednesday night, no rx Shs 125bn was picked from the Petroleum Fund Account.

On March 6th 2016, capsule ChimpReports in extensive reporting about the oil money during the Presidential Handshake investigations published a story that government is set to utilize the remaining oil money in June this year.

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The reduction of Shs125 billion which is equivalent of USD$ 35m from the total remaining USD$ 72m oil money leaves the Petroleum Fund dollar account at Bank of Uganda with only USD$ 37m. The shillings account of the Petroleum Fund has 10bn.

The government has so far collected USD$ 690m from oil companies since 2010 according to available documents with ChimpReports.

In the last four financial years, government silently spent the USD 631 million oil money on project related costs on the Karuma and Isimba Hydro Power Projects and the construction of power transmission lines under Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited.

In the financial year 2013/2014 budget, Shs120 billion from the Petroleum Fund was committed to support project related costs of the two dams.

Shs 973.8billion from the Petroleum Fund was used in the 2014/2015 budget to support the same projects.

In the same financial year, the officials of ministry of Energy, Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) and Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) started supervising the projects. Shs 8.7bn was stunningly given to the officials for only supervision.

In the 2015/2016 budget, Shs 239bn from the oil money account was used to supplement on project related costs of Karuma and Isimba hydro power projects.

In the same financial year another 4.9bn and 30.6bn were withdrawn from the same account for supervision and construction of power transmission lines under UETCL respectively.

In the concluding financial year of 2016/2017 Shs 68.5bn Petroleum Fund went to UEGCL and UETCL for supervision of Karuma and Isimba dams. Also Shs 197bn was given to UETCL for the construction of power transmission lines in the same financial year.

The grand total of the four financial years’ expenditure has been Shs 1.643tn and now grown to Shs 1.768tn.

The Shs 125bn from the Petroleum Fund committed to this financial year’s budget is strictly going to supplement the votes for the construction of 10 roads in the Albertine region known as oil roads.

The roads include Kyotera – Rakai (20km), Buhimba-Nalweyo-Kakindu-Kakumiro-Mubende (100km), Lusalira- Nkonge-Sembabule (97km), and Kabale – Kiziramfumbi road (30km), Wanseko-Bugungu (23km) and Hohwa-Nyairongo-Kyarushesha road (25km).

Other roads are Hoima-Butiaba-Wanseko road (111km), Masindi-Biiso (54km), Masindi-Bugungu via Murchison Falls National Park (80km), Kaseeta – Lwera via Bugoma Forest (16km).

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