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OPM strategizing to ably whip public servants, business

Moses Kizige, the state minister for Karamoja-Affairs reads the report to the media

Moses Kizige, the state minister for Karamoja-Affairs reads the report to the media

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After assessing itself as having achieved 95 per cent of its respective targets in the NRM Manifesto 2016-2021, the Office of the Prime Minister looks ahead to restructuring itself for purposes of scoring even greater heights.

Moses Kizige, the state minister for Karamoja Affairs, said this while presenting the report on the implementation of the NRM Manifesto 2016-2021 Commitments and the presidential Strategic Guidelines and Directives for 2016-2021 on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The report was officially scheduled to be presented by the minister for General Duties at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Mary Karooro Okurut.

“In conclusion I am happy to inform you and the country that OPM successfully met 95 per cent of the manifesto target under OPM and therefore its performance is rated at 95 percent,” the report said.

It added that the ministry of Public Service is currently reviewing OPM’s staffing structure as part of the overall restructuring process of Government as recommended in the third National Development Plan (2020/21 – 2024/25).

The outcome of the restructuring exercise will enable OPM to have the requisite staffing structures to effectively execute its mandate, and is expected to strengthen the institutional mechanisms and systems for effective service delivery of new NRM Manifesto 2021 – 2026 and NDP III.

The above will be achieved through real-time tracking of all MDAs and local governments (LGs) performance to achieve accelerated implementation of government programmes; empowering OPM to whip MDAs and LGs to attain results and inculcating a performance culture characterized by speed and rigor; and faster decision-making to facilitate investment and businesses and improved service delivery.

OPM MANDATE

The OPM is a mega ministry which not only houses the prime minister who is head of government but also the Government Chief Whip, a minister for General Duties and a number of ministries.

The prime minister has deputy prime ministers, usually three. The ministries under this Office, some headed by senior ministers and others by junior ministers are: Disaster Preparedness and Refugees (two ministers), Karamoja Affairs (two ministers), Northern Uganda Affairs, Luweero Triangle-Rwenzori Affairs, Teso Affairs, and Bunyoro Affairs.

Running under the vision, ‘A coordinated, responsive and accountable Government for socio-economic transformation’, and the mission, ‘To instill and maintain efficient and effective systems in Government that enable Uganda to develop rapidly’, OPM has a far-ranging and far-reaching mandate.

The functions of OPM are clearly spelt out as to:

  1. Lead Government business in Parliament.
  2. Coordinate the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of Government policies and programmes.
  3. Coordinate the implementation of Government policies, programmes and projects including JAF indicators and actions and PIRT decisions through the National Institutional Coordination Framework.
  4. Undertake coordination of the implementation of the National Development Plan.
  5. Coordinate and provide public relations to ensure good Government image, effective coverage of national events, communication of policies/practices and defining the ideal National Character and Values for Development.
  6. Coordinate development of capacities for prevention, preparedness, and response to natural and human induced disasters and refugees.
  7. Coordinate and monitor the implementation of special Government policies and programmes for Northern Uganda, Luwero Triangle-Rwenzori, Karamoja, Bunyoro and Teso areas. 
4-unit staff house at Nadunget Primary School in Nadunget S/C, Moroto district

ACHIEVEMENTS

The minister enumerated various achievements against the manifesto targets, starting with those concerning ‘Rehabilitation of war-ravaged/impacted areas’.  

  1. Supported 10,032 sub-projects in the various sectors of the economy (agriculture, environment, fisheries, forestry, livestock, community roads, trade, value addition, water, and others) in the project implementation areas which has benefited 418,474 households (3,061,061 people).
  2. Upgraded of the Atiak – Laropi (65.8km) road to bituminous standard is ongoing, and land acquisition of the right of way is ongoing. The first section (30km) from Atiak – Dzaipi was fully acquired and handed over. Paid 86% (263.78 acres) of the second section of land. Site camp construction is ongoing.
  3. Completed 35% of works on Gulu Logistic Hub and completed the procurement of a Transaction Advisor.
  4. Completed the construction of 132 parish valley tanks and three boreholes in Karamoja sub-region.
  5. Completed civil construction works on 16 dormitory blocks in primary and secondary schools in Karamoja sub-region.
  6. Supported 2935 community-driven enterprises/micro-projects and 278 Parish Community Associations (PCAs) to enhance household incomes and financial inclusion for youth, women, PWDs and other vulnerable groups in Luwero-Rwenzori, Busoga, Bunyoro, Teso, Karamoja and Northern Uganda sub-regions.
  7. Procured and distributed 13,398 cattle for the gradual restocking program for Northern Uganda.
  8. Procured and distributed 18,657 heifers, 3,735 improved goats and 148 improved breeds of Jersey bulls, Sahiwal and Friesian breeds to farmers/households in Karamoja sub-region.
  9. Paid 78,527 civilian veterans a one-off gratuity “Akasiimo” in fulfillment of H.E the President’s pledge.
  10. Completed civil construction works for the education infrastructure in Karamoja sub-region: 16 dormitories fully furnished with beds for retention of the girl-child at school in Karamoja and eight kitchens (in Amudat, Nakapiripirit, Nabilatuk, Moroto, Kotido and Abim districts)
  11. Supported Namalu Prisons to produce 1,254 tonnes of grain for the primary school feeding program in Karamoja sub-region.
  12. Constructed 99 valley tanks/dams/water sources and provided irrigation water systems to eight selected farmers in Karamoja sub-region.
  13. Completed civil construction works for Butaleja Farmers Produce Store, Luwero-Rwenzori regional offices and Nalutuntu HC III.
  1. Provided production tools/farm implements such as: 252,023 hand hoes and 121,906 iron sheets to youth, women, elderly and other vulnerable groups; 3,550 ox-ploughs in Teso and Karamoja and 5,300 spray pumps; 12,235 assorted seedlings; 25 cattle crushes in Karamoja sub-region for vaccination and spraying; 48 walking tractors procured to the elders and women groups in Karamoja; three tractors for Namalu Prisons farm to produce food for the school feeding program.

CLASSROOMS, TEACHERS HOUSES

  1. Construction of five 4-in-1 classroom blocks, three teachers houses and a five-stance lined pit latrine at Kachumbala P/S in Bukedea, Kumi Boys P/S in Kumi, Kaberpila P/S in Kalaki, Obalanga SS in Kapelebyong and Ajoba P/S in Serere districts are at various levels of completion.
  2. Constructed a low-cost house for Ms. Florence Asao in Kalaki in fulfillment of H.E the President’s pledge.
  3. Constructed a 4-in-1 classroom block with desks and solar lighting and a five-stance pit latrine at Kaler P/S, Ngora district.
  4. Supported vocational training in Northern Uganda by disbursing Shs 3.61bn to Northern Uganda Youth Development Centre (NUYDC) to support skills and vocational training (tailoring, bricklaying, salon, hydraform technology, carpentry and joinery, poultry and piggery farming, etc). The NUYDC trains over 500 youths annually.
  5. Constructed four residential houses, eight teachers houses and five classrooms for beneficiaries of the presidential pledges and procured six hydraform machines to support low-cost housing and two tipper lorries in Northern Uganda and Luwero-Rwenzori sub-regions.
  6. Completed solar installation works on 54 Acholi Chiefs houses.
  7. Construction of Teso regional office in Soroti ongoing.
  8. Supported NARO-Nabuin College to produce improved varieties/breeds for farmers in Karamoja sub-region such as: 30 local Zebu heifers and 14 bulls for cattle breed improvement in Karamoja sub-region; improved cassava varieties; and improved maize and sorghum varieties, etc.
  9. Constructed three classroom blocks at Loroo Primary School, Amudat district.
  10. Constructed a multi-purpose hall at Kotido SS, Kotido district.
  11. Completed construction of 20 housing units for the grinding mills and trained beneficiaries of the machines on how to operate, maintain and service them.
Nabilamutoke Valley Tank in Nabilatuk

BOREHOLES, VALLEY TANKS

  1. Provided water for production by drilling 12 boreholes and excavating six valley tanks.
  2. Constructed three farmers’ training and demonstration centers at Narisae, Abilaep and Namalera.
  3. Constructed green houses at three sites of Namalera, Narisae and Acherer.
  4. Provided 5,260 farmers with improved and drought-resistant seedlings.
  5. Established four fully equipped Artificial Insemination (AI) Centers and six Livestock Mobile Veterinary Clinics in Karamoja.
  6. Built rural and market infrastructure through: rehabilitation of 5km rural roads; maintenance of 123.8km rural roads; and construction of 15km community access rural roads are almost done except Nangolemor-Loroo road whose contract has just been signed and works are ongoing.
  7. Supported Community Business Development through: facilitating the formation and registration of four produce and livestock cooperatives and 13 farmer groups recruited to join the cooperatives; facilitating the formation and functioning of four Saccos with total membership of 1,220 currently, and 16 VSLAs recruited as members of the Saccos; providing capacity building to 563 members (315 males and 251 females) of business groups and cooperatives in governance, business, marketing and vocational skills; and provision of vocational and business skills to 152
  8. Disbursement of the Discretional Development Equalization Grant (DDEG). Under the Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfer Reforms coordinated by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, we disbursed Shs 500bn to the beneficiary district local governments under the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) and Luweero-Rwenzori Development Program (LRDP). However, the utilization of these funds is at the discretion of the district local governments in line with national priorities and local needs.
  9. Established the National Emergency Coordination and Operations Centre (NECOC) which enables the country to detect and respond to the increasing occurrence of disasters. Mapping and profiling of hazard risks of all districts in the country was completed and disseminated to all stakeholders to guide development planning of local governments and MDAs.
  10. Constructed 291 houses in Panyadoli Resettlement Camp in Kiryandongo where 2,037 people from landslide victims in the Elgon sub-region were resettled.
A photo showing connection of houses to electricity for lighting at Bunambutyelement

FOOD, NON-FOOD COMMODITY STORE

  1. Completed civil construction works for the initial phase of the Food and Non-Food Commodity store at Namanve Industrial Park.
  2. Procured and distributed 11,020 tonnes of food and 73,300 assorted non-food commodities to 109 districts affected by disasters.
  3. Produced Risk, Hazard and Vulnerability maps for 142 areas prone to disasters.
  4. Trained District Disaster Management Committees (DDMCs) and District Disaster Preparedness Committees (DDPCs) in one 104
  5. Completed civil construction works for 241 houses which were used to resettle 2,058 people from Bududa, Namisidwa, Manafwa, Sironko and Bulambuli districts.
  6. Concluded the re-registration exercise for refugees in the country using the biometric system which revealed that the total number of refugees in the country as at May, 31, 2020 was 1,424,373.
  7. In partnership with the United Nations Secretary General, hosted the Solidarity Summit in Kampala in June 2017 where local and international partners gathered in Uganda to support the country host over one million refugees. The summit raised over US$ 532m, out of which only US$ 1.5m came directly to Government of Uganda which has been invested in 16 sub-projects under the primary sub-sector in four districts (Arua, Lamwo, Moyo, Adjumani).
  8. Demarcated 93,665 plots for resettlement of refugees.
  9. Procured and distributed 65,684 tree seedlings to 355 refugees and host communities in Rwamwanja, Nakivale, Oruchinga and Kyaka II refugee settlements.
  10. Improved livelihood for refugees and host communities through the implementation of Development Response to Displacement Impact Project (DRDIP) by constructing 591 classrooms, five dormitories, three laboratory blocks, 237 blocks of five-stance latrines, 10 wards, 23 blocks of health workers houses, 8km of community roads, four water supply systems, 28 blocks of teachers houses, supplying 12,320 desks, renovating 14 classrooms, supporting 1,315 households with non-traditional livelihoods and 3,206 households with traditional livelihoods and 31 institutional and 1820 communal latrines facilities built. These facilities are enjoyed by both refugees and the host communities.

COMBATING CORRUPTION

Achievements classified under ‘Combating corruptioninclude:

  1. Produced five Government Annual Performance Reports (GAPR) and two Government Half Annual Performance Reports (GHAPR) for FYs 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20. This was followed by five Government retreats to discuss the reports and propose corrective measures to improve performance. Arising from the previous tracking of Government performance over the last five years, OPM has achieved the following:
  • Improved performance of MDAs on average from 58% to 64% at output level and from 53% to 56% at outcome level.
  • Improved implementation of public investment projects to 58% of the targets as compared to 38%
  • Reduced commitment fees/penalties on borrowed funds from US$26.5 million as of June 2015 to US$ 4.63million by June 2019.
  1. Conducted three Local Government Performance Assessments for FYs 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 (covering 144 local governments), where constraints to effective service delivery in the thematic areas of Education, Health, Water and Environment, Cross-cutting (planning, budgeting procurement and accountability) and Human Resource were identified and policy recommendations made to improve performance. The following are some of the achievements:
  • Improved accountability for funds in LGs. There was no LG with an “Adverse” or “Disclaimer” audit opinion by the Auditor General over the last two years of the LGs assessments.
  • Increased involvement of LG Councils and their Committees in identification of projects to be implemented and monitoring their implementation.
  • Improved inspection of schools and health centers
  1. Monitored the implementation of externally funded projects across Government, which revealed the following emerging issues: (a) There was an improvement in average disbursement from 28% in June 2016 to 41% in June 2018; (b) Acquisition of right of way and land compensation are a major challenge especially for large infrastructure projects in Energy, Water, and Works and Transport; (c) Poor project management (preparation/planning, execution and sustainability) persists in sectors implementing infrastructure projects.
  2. Conducted 176 accountability monitoring fora (barazas) in 130 The outcomes of conducting barazas include: (a) A source of invaluable feedback on Government performance; (b) local government staff are held accountable which has helped to deter corruption and impunity; (c) Increased citizen ownership and participation in the implementation of Government programmes; and (d) Improved follow-up by OPM and RDCs on the key issues raised with the respective sectors for necessary action.

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Accomplishments under ‘Public and private sector institutional developmentinclude:

  1. Strengthening institutional framework for implementation of   Government programmes. There was enhanced coordination of Government through the following platforms: Presidential Investors Round Table (PIRT); National Partnership Forum (NPF); Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)-2030 Agenda; Inter Agency Coordination (OWC, Water for Production, Land Conflicts, etc.); Nutrition; PSM etc.
  2. Through these platforms, the following achievements were realized:
  1. PIRT: Working with PIRT Technical Working Group, up to 95% of the recommendations were achieved, namely:
  • Fast-tracked investments in infrastructure for the first oil production, i.e. ferry from Panyamur (Pakwach) to Buliisa, airport in Kabaale and Hoima, refinery in Hoima, pipeline and Tanzam route/Southern route and water.
  • The lead Investor, the Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium, is in place since 2018 and the project framework agreement already signed.
  • With the help of PIRT Technical Working Group the number of tourists visiting our national parks increased from 215,558 in 2015 to 325,345 in 2018 and the revenue increased from Shs 24bn to Shs 86bn in the same period.
  • The one-stop centre for investors has been established at Uganda Investment Authority and is functional with the presence of all institutions involved in investment licensing.
  • Tourists increased by 14% due to increased investment in promotional activities.
  1. National Partnership Forum
  • Agreed with Local Development Partners Group (LDPG) priority areas for development, of which 90% are already achieved.
  1. Nutrition
  • Stunting reduced from 33% in 2011 to 25% in 2017.
  • Malnutrition in Karamoja sub-region reduced by 11%.
  1. SDGs
  • Developed the National Standards Indicators (NSIs) for fast-tracking the realisation of the SDGs.
  • Developed the SDGs coordination roadmap to guide the implementation and alignment to the NSIs.
  1. Inter-Agency Coordination
  • Irrigation Policy approved.
  • Irrigation schemes (Mubuku, Alweny, Doho) rehabilitated.
  • Joint planning between Ministry of Water and Environment and Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries.
  1. Operationalizing the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit (PMDU). This activity has so far: (a) Introduced the delivery lab methodology by conducting the coffee delivery lab involving multi-stakeholders which led to the development of the Coffee Roadmap 2020, targeting to export 20 million bags of coffee annually. Arising from this intervention, coffee exports have increased to over eight million (60kg bags) in 2020, from56 million (60kg bags) in 2016; (b) Introduced the biometric registration system in eight district hospitals, 29 Health Centre IVs and 189 HC IIIs in the 22 districts in Eastern Uganda. Consequently, the health worker attendance in the PMDU focus districts improved from 51% in 2016 to 93% in 2020, while the teacher attendance improved 74% in 2016 to 91.4% in 2021; (c) Supported establishment of policy framework for tools to ensure tracking of teacher presence within 22 PMDU focus districts; (d) Developed a state of infrastructure map and system for routine tracking of flagship infrastructure projects for timely updates to the Government on the progress of implementation; (e) Introduced the service delivery partnerships forums across the sectors working as “inter-ministerial task teams” and across the districts known as “regional stakeholder forums” with the objective of easing communication and unblocking constraints to effective service delivery.

CHALLENGES

The OPM identified three major challenge areas: budget cuts and shortfalls; reporting and disbursement of NUSAF funds; and lack of control over the PRDP grant.

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