By Ben Ssebuguzi
The Office of the National Chairman (ONC), established in accordance with Chapter 4; clause 14 Subsection 1 of the NRM party constitution, is the official office of the NRM National Chairman, Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who is also the Head of State and Commander in Chief of Armed Forces. This Office is managed by the workaholic and smart lady, Hajjat Hadijah Uzeiye Namyalo.
The ONC among others is mandated to liaise, advocate and follow up on wealth creation Programs like the Parish Development Model (PDM), Emyooga etc. That is why ONC is very pivotal in the implementation of the NRM manifesto.
When H.E. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni launched the PDM on Saturday 26th, February 2022 in Kibuku District, his intention was to lift the 39% of the population in the substance sector into the money economy.
One of the key stakeholders in the implementation of the NRM manifesto of wealth creation is Uganda National Roads of Authority (UNRA) because they serve the needs of roads to Ugandans which facilitate the ease of movement, boosting trade and tourism. That’s why UNRA is very critical in the implementation of the 1 and 2 pillars of PDM which are: Production, storage, processing, marketing and infrastructure services respectively.
It is imperative that our members of parliament appropriate enough funds to UNRA to enable significant investment towards establishing a robust road network in our country.
Even in these tilting global economic times, this agency should be spared from budget cuts because they tend to reduce the level of service. Even Low maintenance and operation budgets often make responding to emergencies like the Katonga bridge incident very difficult which results in network cut-offs.
Amidst budget cuts, and delays in releasing funds which reduced project cash flow, in their 2022/23 performance report, UNRA performed beyond expectations, we want to thank them for showing resilience in adding 254.5km to the National Road work of 6,133km, they also reconstructed 163km in the same financial year hence consolidating our road network capacity.
On ferry services, two ferries started operations ie MV Palm which has already eased transport from Kiyindi landing site in Buikwe district to Kirugo in Buvuma, then MV BBB which plies Bugembe-Bunyana-Muggala for Palm oil growers in Kalangala district.
According to UNRA Executive Director, Ms Allen Kagina, the ferries operated 97% on time and 96.5% on availability which is a great achievement in helping to improve the quality of life and accessibility of the people from the islands.
I, therefore, like to thank President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for his conviction and rare courage to steer this country to greater heights by constructing a good road network that connects all regions in the country.
Ben Ssebuguzi is the Head of Research at the Office of the National Chairman (ONC) in Kyambogo