David Bahati, the minister of state for Planning presented the request to parliament's Budget committee on Tuesday, saying that the supplementary schedule 3 for financial year 2020/2021 is urgent for consideration.
The request comes a few days after parliament approved a Shs 3.7 trillion supplementary schedules 1 and 2 on October 20, 2020. In his presentation to the committee, Bahati said that out of the required Shs 353.8 billion, Shs 336.86 billion is for purchase of 9 million radios to all Ugandan homesteads since it is one of the strategies to support long-distance learning, given that schools are closed due to Covid-19 pandemic except for candidate classes.
Government also needs Shs 6 billion to cater for compensation of the Archdiocese of Kampala for land at Nsambya for construction of a modern convention centre. Bahati explained that this is to facilitate partial payment for the acquisition of 20 acres of land owned by Kampala Archdiocese and occupied by Uganda police barracks at Nsambya. The land was valued at Shs 64 billion and only Shs 1.2 billion has so far been paid.
Rubanda East MP Henry Musasizi also questioned how the Shs 6 billion for the church land was arrived at since the total budget for the land is Shs 64 billion. Bahati pledged to appear before the committee again with more details on the matter.
Another Shs 3 billion is required by the ministry of Information, Communication, Technology and National Guidance for support to Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC).
According to submitted documents, the funding will go towards preparation and participation in the forthcoming 2021 general elections given that campaigns are going to be digital, support for relevant local content development, programming and broadcasting of international and national days, special presidential initiative and development projects, public press conferences, and for Covid-19 continuous awareness creation and sensitization broadcasting programs and education programmes.
The other funding totalling Shs 5 billion is for the ministry of Finance to implement the electronic government procurement system (E-GP) which commenced in July 2020.
"It will support government to carry out complete public procurement and disposal processes electronically. The benefits of the system are promotion of bidder participation and competitiveness, real-time access to procurement information for planning, reduced cost of doing business, improved governance and accountability in public procurement, effective oversight of PPDA through online monitoring and minimal human interaction reducing avenues for corruption," said Bahati.
Under the Office of the Prime Minister, government is seeking Shs 2 billion for funding of the Integrated Intelligence Computer System (IICS).
Bahati explained that the IICS is the output of a research that was funded from 2010 to 2014 under the presidential support to scientists to study and find solutions to some of the challenges affecting service delivery in the health sector.
"It is a comprehensive end to end system handling patient life cycle as well as other critical administrative functions of the hospital namely; human resource (medical personnel) and inventories. The system has been very successful and realized evident benefits namely; paperless experience, reduced absenteeism, efficiency in medical personnel while handling patients, improved patient experience, very significant reduction in pilferage and expiry of medicines among others," he said.
According to Bahati, the funding is needed for the introduction of biometric in-patient registration and dispensing of medicine, improvement of patient experience, linking the National Medical Stores systems and IICS systems and operational expenses including wage.
Also needed under the ministry of Foreign Affairs, Shs 1 billion is needed for the establishment of an Embassy of Uganda in Angola for security and other bilateral relations.
"Angola is a member of the International Conference on Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) that has been coordinating the fight against negative forces (ADF, M23, etc) in the region. Additionally, Angola has been a key mediator in the mending of relations between Uganda and Rwanda. Opening the mission will deepen political, trade, educational and cultural relations between the two countries," reads the document before the Budget committee.
The committee learned that the supplementary expenditure will be funded from additional borrowing of Shs 6 trillion which is currently before parliament's National Economy committee and any additional revenue.