Log in
Updated today

Defence, Justice atop most indebted govt list

Minister of Defence Adolf Mwesige

Ministry of Defence and ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs lead the log of highly indebted government agencies that are giving local suppliers sleepless nights, latest official figures indicate.

Government is indebted to local suppliers to the tune of Shs 2.3 trillion, with the two ministries accounting for more than half of that sum.

According to statistics published by ministry of Finance, the ministry of Defence is indebted to the tune of Shs 718.5bn while ministry of Justice owes Shs 673.3bn.

These are debts accumulated mostly from domestic business actors who supply these institutions with food, furniture, drugs and other supplies but take months, even years, without being paid. In the case of ministry of Justice, the debt includes claims for damages and compensation from people who successfully sue government agencies.

Besides the two ministries, other major debtors include Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra), which owes suppliers Shs 222.1bn, and National Medical Stores (NMS) with a domestic debt of Shs 137.3bn.

The Office of the President owes Shs 33bn, Uganda Prisons Shs 43bn, Makerere University Shs 28.5bn and Gulu University Shs 5.6bn. On its part, the External Security Organisation (ESO) is indebted to the tune of Shs 20bn.

Last year, several private firms asked for a financial bailout package, saying their businesses were failing partly because government agencies have failed to pay them. Others have not been paid for goods and services rendered to the South Sudan government ever since war broke out in that country.

It gets worse if the affected companies have borrowed the money they used to supply government. In his budget speech last month, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija announced strong measures to fight delays in paying suppliers, including withholding money meant for any agency that is not paying its suppliers.

Kasaija said this financial year, government would pay out Shs 300bn, an amount analysts say is just a drop in the ocean. If the government provided that amount every year, it would take eight years to clear the arrears. Within that period, they are likely to have accumulated more.

“In order to provide an immediate boost to the economy, Shs 300bn has been allocated to settle domestic arrears. This amount will be released in the first quarter of next financial year,” Kasaija said, adding that “government departments that delay payments for goods and services supplied by the private sector for more than fourteen (14) days will have their future releases withheld until such payments have been made.”

Some government agencies have accumulated arrears in utilities such as water and electricity. In February, National Water and Sewerage Corporation was forced to cut off Uganda Prisons, Uganda Police, and Mulago hospital over unpaid bills stretching years back.

Agency

Debt (Shs)

Ministry of Defence

718.5bn

Min of Justice and Constitutional Affairs

673.3bn

Office of the President

33bn

Ministry of Public Service

2bn

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

47.3bn

Ministry of Finance

140bn

Office of the Prime Minister

797.4m

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

1.9bn

Ministry of Local Government

30bn

Ministry of Lands

10.3bn

Ministry of Education

14bn

Ministry of Health

9bn

Ministry of Trade

6.3bn

Ministry of East African Affairs

2.3bn

Ministry of Works and Transport

112m

Ministry of Energy

3.1bn

Ministry of Water and Environment

20bn

Ministry of ICT

4.2bn

Ministry of Tourism

5.6bn

Judiciary

2.1bn

Electoral Commission

4.3bn

Inspectorate of Government

36m

Parliamentary Commission

1bn

Uganda Human Rights Commission

2.7bn

Uganda Aids Commission

166.5m

National Planning Authority

6.6m

UNRA

222.1bn

Uganda Industrial Research Institute

527m

Busitema University

1.5bn

Uganda Cancer Institute

13.4m

Uganda Heart Institute

1.1bn

National Medical Stores

137.3bn

Uganda Tourism Board

74m

Uganda Road Fund

213m

Uganda Registration Services Bureau

1bn

Dairy Development Authority

35m

KCCA

13.5bn

Rural Electricity Agency

61,017

Equal Opportunities Commission

879m

NAGRC & DB

30m

NITA (U)

200m

Muni University

1.2bn

Office of the Auditor General

496.7m

Education Service Commission

3.6m

Health Service Commission

9.5m

Makerere University

28.5bn

Mbarara University

387m

MUBS

1.3bn

Kyambogo University

14.7bn

NARO

269m

Uganda Bureau of Statistics

20m

Uganda Police

26bn

Uganda Prisons

43bn

Public Service Commission

40m

Local Government Finance Commission

1.4m

Gulu University

5.6bn

NEMA

25m

Uganda Blood Transfusion Services

53m

PPDA

44m

UNBS

49m

Cotton Development Authority

521,300

Uganda Land Commission

7.3bn

NFA

47m

External Security Organisation

20bn

Uganda Coffee Development Authority

22bn

Uganda National Meteorological Authority

1.2bn

Uganda Export Promotion Board

750,000

Mulago National Referral hospital

1.3bn

Gulu Regional Referral hospital

1.3bn

Kabale Regional Referral hospital

1.6m

Masaka Regional Referral hospital

323m

Mbale Regional Referral hospital

12m

Soroti Regional Referral hospital

153m

Mbarara Regional Referral hospital

1.6bn

Mubende Regional Referral hospital

8.6m

Moroto Regional Referral hospital

92m

Uganda High Commission in India

228m

Uganda Embassy in Egypt

51m

Uganda Embassy in China

915m

Uganda Embassy in Italy

13.2m

Total

Shs 2.3tn

Comments   

+1 #1 Concerned Ugandan 2017-07-17 10:37
A lot of these debts are due to fiscal indiscipline by accounting officers who are more keen to protect their jobs than to have the backbone to refuse to do anything that is likely to sink institutions further into debt.

Most of these government departments are the leaders in purchasing posh new SUVs instead of concentrating on clearing debts!
Quote | Report to administrator