Minister of State of Planning David Bahati, recently revealed to the Parliament’s Finance committee that Uganda’s petroleum fund was exhausted and running on fumes.
Bahati confirmed a zero budget allocation from the fund to support the coming financial year 2020/2021 budget despite previous allocations. He also last year told the committee how badly the situation is for the country as there is no budget to support most of the financial year’s activities.
“There is no money in the petroleum fund,” he told the committee. “We appropriated it last financial year..what was there, so we cannot get what is not there. Next we have got to expand our revenue base.”
Bahati together with the Director Budget in the Ministry of Finance Kenneth Mugambe and other officials were on Wednesday appearing before Parliament’s Finance Committee to defend the Budget Framework Paper for the financial year 2021.
Ugandan government has been misusing the Petroleum Fund according to reports
According to reports, the reason behind the exhaustion of funds is because ever since the establishment of the Petroleum Fund by the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), 2015 the government has been withdrawing money from it to finance the national budget which contradicts its main use.
It was also reported that the government had not put in place a Petroleum Investment Framework as envisaged in the law to help fund the projects.
The petroleum fund which stood at around 445 billion shillings has been mishandled by government several times to try and finance the previous 2018/2019 and current 2019/2020 budget shortfalls.
The Ugandan government has been cautioned by the committee to contain its overzealous appetite for the oil funds before production kicks off citing depletion of resources in the Petroleum Fund with no clear indication on what the money is spent on.
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Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre & Spur Magazine. He is passionate about tech, games and occasionally writes about entertainment, lifestyle and so much more.