The Ministry of Education and Sports has been tasked to present a list of all the universities that sought supplementary funding in the Financial Year 2022/2023.
This follows concerns by legislators on the Committee on Education and Sports that the accountability made by the ministry for supplementary funding covered only a few universities.
The Minister of State for Sports, Hon. Peter Ogwang presented justification for expenditure of Shs44.873 billion under the Education Skills Development and Sports sub-programme.
According to the report, five universities including Ndejje University (Shs3.8 billion), Mbarara University (Shs1.66 billion), Makerere University (Shs8 billion), Kabale University (Shs3.21 billion) and Mountains of the Moon University (Shs5.9 billion)are highlighted.
Hon. Philiphs Illukol (NRM, Napore West County) said the presentation by the minister was not national in nature, noting that universities from Northern and Eastern Uganda were not catered for.
“The Ministry of Education and Sports is mandated to ensure that equal opportunities are given to all Ugandans in higher education. Should we assume that the budgets for universities in Northern and Eastern Uganda were enough that they did not need a supplementary?” Illukol asked.
Hon. Lillian Paparu (NRM, Arua District) cited universities like Muni, Gulu, Busitema and Soroti which need supplementary funding but have not been considered.
“I am in possession of communication from Muni University as of yesterday. They said they had written asking for a supplementary to cater for funding gaps but they have not received feedback,” said Paparu.
Hon. Emmanuel Ongiertho (FDC, Jonam County) pinned the Finance Ministry for failure to release supplementary funds as requested by universities.
“Why does the Minister of Finance present a supplementary budget to Parliament which gets approved, but it is not implemented?” Ongiertho queried.
Ongiertho urged the Ministers for Education to ensure that what Parliament has appropriated is adequately disbursed to the agencies.
The Committee Chairperson, Hon. John Twesigye asked the minister to explain how the supplementary budgets are issued to the different universities.
Ogwang said the requests for supplementary funding are not handled by the Ministry of Education but by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
“The Ministry of Finance does not release the money to the agencies or votes according to what has been budgeted for and approved by Parliament. I call upon this committee to nudge the Finance Ministry to release the approved supplementary funding in time,” said Ogwang.
He, however, commended the Finance Ministry for releasing supplementary funds for some institutions of higher learning, which he said has facilitated their programmes.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.