MPs approve Shs152 billion for Hoima City stadium construction

Furthermore, legislators approved Shs132.6 billion to enable Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) additional equity acquisition in the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). 

Construction of Hoima City stadium is expected to start after Parliament approved the required Shs152 billion, part of the Shs288.6 billion Supplementary Budget Schedule No.03 on Thursday, 16 May 2024.ahead of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in 2027.

The Supplementary Budget Schedule No. 03 for financial year 2023/2024 was approved by Parliament during plenary sitting chaired by Speaker, Anita Among.

In September 2023, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) awarded hosting rights for the 36th edition of AFCON 2027 to Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania under the East Africa joint Pamoja Bid. Hoima City stadium is one of the venues expected to host the games.

The Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development (General Duties), Hon. Henry Musasizi said that the Shs152 billion is advance payment for construction works to commence at Hoima City stadium.

“This funding will enable the contractor commence on construction of the stadium to be ready before the deadline of 31 December 2025 required by CAF for Uganda to co-host the 2027 AFCON,” Musasizi said.

Furthermore, legislators approved Shs132.6 billion to enable Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) additional equity acquisition in the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

“The funding is to meet the cash call arising from delayed financial flows by financers and is required before July 2024,” said Musasizi.

He justified that the two projects will be funded by the Petroleum Fund, in line with Section 59(3) of the Public Finance Management Act which allows the Ministry of Finance to use the funds to finance infrastructure development.

“Our petroleum fund account currently has Shs400 billion, I propose to utilize Shs284.6 billion in line with the Public Finance Management Act to finance acquisition of equity in EACOP and construction of Hoima City stadium,” Musasizi said.

The lawmakers also approved Shs2.5 billion for Uganda Blood Transfusion Services to facilitate blood collection, processing and distribution for this quarter.

Similarly, Uganda’s Embassy in Geneva was allocated Shs1.4 billion to cater for accumulated dues on rent, salaries, medical insurance and utilities.

“This needs to be settled by end of the financial year to avoid legal action from landlords, service providers and contract staff,” Musasizi said.

He added that Uganda Blood Transfusion Services and the Swedish Embassy budgets will be financed through the savings from the wages after audit of the wage bill.

Kira Municipality Member of Parliament, Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju, however opposed the supplementary budget, arguing that construction of Hoima stadium does not fall under unforeseeable expenditure as stipulated in Section 25 of the Public Finance Management Act.

“When did you win the bid to host AFCON for you not to have factored in the money in the budget; because this budget that we are going to pass today is a budget that will be implemented in one month. So what is that you cannot wait that is so urgent that you must fix it in the supplementary,” he asked.

Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka explained that the Ministry of Education and Sports requires him to sign off the contracts to start works at the stadium but he is constrained by lack of evidence of availability of funds.

“If Parliament is happy to wait until the next financial year; the problem is we will lose timelines in as far as deadlines. Unfortunately for me the law does not allow me to approve the contract without knowing the source of funds,” said Kiryowa Kiwanuka.

He also justified the need to finance UNOC, saying that whereas partners in EACOP were required to finance the acquisition of equity, this did not happen.

“Unfortunately because of the change in the world order and economic setting, we have been required to put in the equity, it was not known to us at the time we approved the budget,” Kiryowa Kiwanuka said.

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