The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has announced it has handed the responsibility of construction and maintenance of some road projects in the country to the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).
In a statement issued on Saturday, UNRA said the move is intended to promote local construction capacity.
“Government put in place a framework to ensure that local contractors are developed and can participate in the National road development program. The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets regulations provide for the promotion of local content and requires that entities reserve work for local companies,”UNRA said.
“Pursuant to a presidential directive, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC)- the commercial arm of UPDF with the objective of building the capacity of NEC to undertake road construction and maintenance projects.”
According to UNRA Executive Director, Allen Kagina, “this partnership between two government agencies will go a long way in ensuring that government achieves its development objectives whilst building the capacity of the local construction industry.”
Some of the projects NEC will undertake include: the civil works for the rehabilitation of Olwiyo – Pakwach Road (62km) and mechanized maintenance of 124km unpaved roads in the central region including Ngoma – Kyankanzi (15km), Ngoma – Kasozi – Kyamukanda (42km), Luku – Kalangala (31km), and Kalangala – Mbalabana (35km).
The development follows another directive by President Yoweri Museveni a few days ago that Ministry of Health and that of Education and Sports use UPDF to implement the construction projects this financial year.
In a letter dated July 1, 2021 and addressed to various government authorities and the two ministries, Mr Museveni said the move would reduce time wasted in procurement processes and save funds.
“This is,therefore, to direct that with effect from the Financial Year 2021/2022, all new construction projects for health facilities and schools must be undertaken by the army construction brigade, as a pilot [project]. This directive will be gradually extended to cover other sectors of government,” he said.
President Museveni noted that the UPDF has developed capacity and that government has saved a lot of money and time by contracting it in several projects.
“I am certain that we can avoid all the delays in implementing government construction projects by utilising the army construction brigade to undertake these works,” he said.