National
ICT ministry needs sh930b for its investment plan
Publish Date: Aug 27, 2014
ICT ministry needs sh930b for its investment plan
Minister of Information Communication Technology (ICT) John Paul Nasasira stresses a point while appearing before the committee on finance at parliament. Photo by Maria Wamala
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Moses Mulondo 

 

THE Information and Communications Technology ministry requires sh930b to build enough capacity which will enable Uganda move at the same pace with the rest of the world in the ICT sector.

 

The ministry is drafting a five year strategic and investment plan for the sector.

 

This was revealed on Tuesday by the ICT minister John Nasasira while appearing with his ministry team and state minister for investment Aston Kajara.

 

“If we want to move at the same pace with the rest of the world in the ICT industry, we need to allocate sufficient funds to it. The thinking that the private sector will develop our ICT is a farce,” Nasasira told the MPs.

 

The minister explained that whereas Uganda invests only 7.5m dollars in the sector, Kenya invests $123m every year in its ICT sector and Rwanda gives it $40m.

 

Nasasira said their ICT investment plan will require government to allocate a minimum of sh186b every financial year to the sector.

 

The minister also protested proposals by the finance ministry to reduce the 2% ICT ministry share of taxes levied on telecom companies to 1%.

 

“I think we need to give priority to the ICT ministry. The sector is on the drip and if you remove the drip, it can just collapse. Even others agencies retain a share of revenue collected in their area,” Nasasira argued.

 

The minister also dismissed reports that his ministry had a surplus of sh80b on its fixed deposit which MPs were using as a justification for reducing its share to 1%.

Nasasira said their ICT investment plan will require government to allocate a minimum of sh186b every financial year to the sector. Photo by Maria Wamala 

Budadiri West MP wondered why the completion of the national backbone optic fibre project had delayed yet parliament had appropriated $106m for the project.

 

In response, the minister explained that the third phase of the project failed to commence as it had been delayed because the Exim bank of China had not yet released the money.

 

MPs Franca Akello, James Kakooza, Joseph Ssewungu and Amos Lugolobi demanded for explanation on why the ministry had failed to rein in on the telecom companies which charging Ugandans illegal charges in form of dropped calls, and unsolicited messages.

 

Nasasira said they are working on more stringent Bills and guidelines which will enable them to stop the companies from exploiting their customers.

 

Explaining why they wanted the percentage share of the ICT ministry to be reduced, the investment minister, Aston Kajara, said, “It is our duty to raise revenue and distribute it to the various sectors depending on government priorities at a time.” 

 

The committee chairman Robert Kasule said, “The demand for sh186b by the ICT ministry will be debated. But from what I know, government always have priorities in every given period of time and major priority now is on infrastructure and energy sectors after which other pertinent sectors like ICT will be given the priority they deserve.”

 

Anthony Okello and Amos Lugolobi argued that putting the money in the consolidated fund controlled by the finance ministry would promote transparency and accountability.

 

But Nasasira said the argument was immaterial since the auditor general audits the ICT ministry departments on how the revenue funds and other funds are utilized.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
The 18-year-old Kibonge, the oldest lion at UWEC, Entebbe has died....
HIV injection nurse set free
Justice Rugadya Atwooki agrees with Rosemary Namubiru, a nurse who infected a baby with HIV, that her sentence was excessive and sets her free....
EALA Speaker Zziwa: I am doing well
The Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Margaret Zziwa has described her suspension as illegal....
Over sh16b earmarked for research in non-communicable diseases
Global healthcare company, Glaxosmithkline(GSK) is calling out for proposals for scientific research in non-communicable diseases(NCDs) in Sub-Saharan Africa....
Kampala pork contaminated - study
Pork eaters in Kampala have reason to worry for their health following findings by a veterinary lecturer that 50% of pork consumed in the city is contaminated....
350 teaching jobs available for PhD holders in Ugandan universities
About 350 teaching positions calling for doctorate holders are yet to be filled in Ugandan Universities and other degree awarding institutions....
Should Govt lease parts of Lake Victoria to private developers?
Its Ok
No Way
Not Sure
follow us
subscribe to our news letter