By Saidat Nassali
The Education Committee of Parliament has grilled the Ministers of Finance and that of Education and sports over delayed financing of construction works for Akii-Bua and Buhinga stadia in Lira-kabarole districts.
Buhinga stadium is proposed to be a 26000 seater at a cost of US Dollars 64.9Million while Akii-Bua Olympic stadium 30,000 seaters and will cost US Dollars 48million.
It is noted that the projects of Buhinga Stadium and Akii-Bua Olympic stadium are presidential pledges of September 29 2012 and March 18 2010 which were also discussed under the ministry of Education to be financed under the Forum for China-Africa cooperation for the period 2019-2021 but available information indicates that the financing has been since dropped.
Minister Obua told Legislators on Tuesday that President Museveni and Chinese President discussed the 2018 FOCAC summit in Beijing and approved the two stadia projects to be funded as priority projects and Grant under the initiative for capacity building.
He added that the projects have multi-sectoral implementation partners including the local governments of kabarole and Lira that had to secure and provide adequate land . Other project partners are Ministry of finance which had to process the financing agreements with China and Ministry of Foreign affairs that had to undertake diplomatic coordination between Uganda and China in the implementation of the projects.
Obua told MPs that land for the projects has been secured and the Ministry if Education and sports concluded the process of feasibility studies and detailed proposals for the two stadia hence securing the relevant study reports which were submitted to the permanent secretary Ministry of Finance on 25th May 2021.
On the other hand ,Lugoloobi also said that Further consultations were held on the projects to be financed by the Chinese authorities under FOCAC and on 21st January 2021, the local government officially submitted it’s prioritized projects for inclusion into the Uganda -China pool of projects and consideration for financing under the FOCAC cycle of 2019-2021.
He added that in a letter dated 21st Aug 2021, the Chinese authorities noticed that Ugandan pool of projects had been revised and some projects had been dropped , following the outbreak of Covid-19 Pandemic.
Lugoloobi concluded that all these dropped projects would be prioritized in the next cycle of programming for the period 2021-2023.