The Minister for Finance Matia Kasaija has said government will continue spending heavily as a way of stabilizing the economy in order to achieve the goal of making Uganda a modern state.
Kasaija who was speaking at the launch the 2016 Road User Satisfaction Survey by the Uganda Road Fund (URF) today morning at Serena hotel, said the Finance Ministry has been receiving criticism from development partners and Ugandans for spending heavily on infrastructure development while ignoring health and education which he said is unrealistic.
“When I meet development partners and ambassadors from different countries, I am normally criticized for spending a lot of money on roads and other infrastructure. However this will continue because we are convinced that building roads, railways and enabling ICT is the only way that we will be able to achieve a modern economy that we are targeting for 2040,’ he said.
This, he stated, in response to URF officials who noted that funds for renovation and rehabilitation of roads were still in adequate and that there was need to harmonize the available funds for roads between developing new ones and rehabilitation old news so that they can also keep in good use.
He added: “road development is the key factor for development and investment. There is no investor who world want to invest in an area that is hard to reach neither can any Ugandan trade their goods or access services if roads are not well build.”
The 5th annual survey which is carried out by CrossRoad and implemented by URF is a feedback mechanism of perception of road users on the state and quality of Uganda’s public roads.
This year’s report indicated that 62.7%of Ugandans who were surveyed were dissatisfied with the road experience due to different factors.
Factors like narrow roads, potholes, poor drainage, inadequate road maintenance and dust were among those that were mainly highlighted as the main cause of this dissatisfaction.
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga who was the guest of honor at the launch also noted that parliament was going to work with the minister of finance to make sure that funds for maintaining and rehabilitation of roads are availed in time so that Ugandan road users can have a better experience.
“The report indicates that there is dissatisfaction by the Ugandan road users on the status of our roads, I agree with them. Some of the roads especially those under local government are impassable. We are going to work harder to make sure that the ministry of finance has the money to give to the road fund,” Kadaga said.