Igg Orders Education To Complete Shs88B Project

Igg orders education to complete shs88b project
Appeared in The Daily Monitoron 19 May 2020

The Inspector General of Government (IGG) has ordered the Ministry of Education and Sports to complete the Dutch-funded project whose funds were allegedly misappropriated by some ministry officials in 2010.

Between July 2008 and June 2010, the Netherlands gave 22 million Euros (about Shs88b) to the Ugandan government for the construction of teachers’ houses, classrooms, water tanks and provision of furniture and instructional and thematic materials in primary schools under the post-conflict revitalisation of education in northern Uganda. However, contractors abandoned the works in 2010, citing a difficult working environment.

In a February 25 letter to the ministry’s permanent secretary, a copy of which Daily Monitor has seen, the deputy IGG, Ms Mariam Wangadya, said the ministry must create a budget to ensure the project is completed.

“A budget should be made and funds identified to complete the structures to avoid the loss of funds already spent on the incomplete structures,” the letter reads in part.

Ms Wangadya said the bidding process for the project was too crafty, adding that a technical team should be formed to assess and value the works required for completion of incomplete structures.

“Next time, make use of open bidding instead of local prequalification of contractors in future contracts in order to get the contractors with the financial capacity to undertake such projects,” she said.

The deputy IGG said investigations established that the construction companies abandoned sites due to delays and unnecessary bureaucratic processes by the ministry to process payments. They further revealed that only 37 out of the 48 awarded contracts for construction activities were successfully executed while 11 were abandoned by contractors.

Attempts to speak to Mr Alex Kakooza, the Education ministry’s permanent secretary, were futile as we could not reach him on his known phone number.

Mr Patrick Muinda, the Education ministry spokesperson, referred this newspaper to Ms Rose Namaganda, a secretary at the permanent secretary’s office.

“IGG letters always go directly to the PS and that is a big issue I cannot comment on,” Mr Muinda said.

When contacted, Ms Namaganda said they had not received the letter. “We have not received any letter from the IGG in regards to a matter that occurred that long ago and I cannot speak on that,” she said.

Cited case

Acutomer Primary School in Acholibur Sub-county, Pader District reportedly benefited from the project. To date, two classroom blocks that were under construction are incomplete. We could not independently verify with the Education ministry or IGG whether the school was a beneficiary since they both declined to divulge details of the report about the fraud. “We cannot reveal to you the particulars of the complainant or details of the report the complainant submitted to us since it is confidential and we need to protect this source,” Ms Ali Munira, the IGG spokesperson, said.