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PAC Grills Treasury Secretary Over Low Loan Absorption

Keith Muhakanizi had been summoned by the committee chaired by Soroti Woman MP, Angeline Osege to answer queries raised by the Auditor General in his 2014/2015 value for money audit. The audit highlighted governments poor utilisation of external loans.
14 Sep 2016 17:21
Secretary to Treasury Keith Muhakanizi appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Audio 2

Members of Parliament sitting on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have quizzed the Secretary to Treasury Keith Muhakanizi on poor utilization of external loans.

Muhakanizi had been summoned by the committee chaired by Soroti Woman MP, Angeline Osege to answer queries raised by the Auditor General in his 2014/2015 value for money audit. The audit highlighted government's poor utilisation of external loans.

According to the report, loan absorption stands at less than 50 percent while loan disbursement was captured at a 38 percent performance rate.

Gerald Karuhanga, the committee Vice Chairperson asked Muhakanizi to explain why loans acquired by the country are under-performing.

Muhakanizi admitted that external loan absorption was low but pushed the blame on parliament for delaying to approve the loans.

“Most of these loans are for projects which are initiated with line ministries and once they are initiated, we set off for funding. But parliament needs to improve in approving a loan, it is taking too long,” said Muhakanizi.

He also told the committee that Uganda is ranked one of the worst nations by World Bank in loan absorption. While the East African region is performing at 20 percent, Uganda is the worst in the region at just 12 percent external loan absorption.

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MP Karuhanga questioned whether the Secretary to Treasury Muhakanizi was proud of his performance given the poor record he revealed to the committee.

Muhakanizi in response asked whether the MP had heard him say that he was proud. He described Karuhanga as cheeky, a comment that attracted criticism from other legislators who accused Muhakanizi of being disrespectful.

This forced Muhakanizi to apologise.

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