Minister for transport and works defended the government’s position to construct passage roads leading to the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC.
Gen.Katumba Wamala says Uganda’s produce has grown exponentially hence the need for marketing and it was agreed by the 2 heads of state for both Congo and Uganda to widen market avenues.
This comes after members of Parliament on Budget Committee opposed the Government’s plan to spend Shs254bn on the construction of roads in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Wamala had explained to the Committee that Shs200bn has been earmarked for Uganda’s contribution to the construction of 223km of roads in the DRC following a bilateral agreement between Uganda and the DRC to implement strategic infrastructure projects.
However, the legislators objected to the move saying the government’s decision to prioritize roads in the DRC over roads within Uganda is not equitable given that it has abandoned it’s commitment to inter-connectivity roads in the country.
While speaking at the Uganda Media center -UMC on Tuesday, Katumba said the government has realized that one of the biggest hurdles to smooth trade between Uganda and DRC is the impassable roads which will now be jointly worked upon.
Katumba further explained that the Standard Gauge Railway as another joint project is also ongoing between different countries in the region because the road network in the DRC is also another project between the two countries.
“There is always a start. It may not have been there before but we are developing infrastructure together as regional states like it is done with the Standard Gauge Railway,” Gen. Katumba said.
Uganda will contribute 20% of the roads project. The total project cost is $334.5m, thus putting Uganda’s contribution to $66.9m approximately Shs254bn.
The money will be procured from an Shs3.4 trillion supplementary request pending approval of Parliament.