Three years since the parliamentary inquiry into motor vehicle inspections began, Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) has requested government to allow it to proceed with its duties without undue interference.
Appearing before the Physical Infrastructure Committee of Parliament yesterday, SGS country manager Kanvaly Bamba expressed concern that the government is not implementing the terms of an addendum signed with the company in April 2020.
According to the addendum, the company was supposed to incorporate a number of issues raised by the majority and minority reports of parliament, which Bamba provided a status report for. He also informed the parliamentary committee that SGS revised the inspection fees by more than half as required.
“We are concerned over the government’s silence. We signed an addendum in April and we are in October. The government is saying nothing. We want to know what is going on because we are incurring costs,” he said.
“We are paying staff salaries, servicing equipment, paying taxes, and paying concession fees, but we have no feedback on our request to proceed as per our agreement,” he added.
The committee led by Nakifuma County Legislator Robert Ssekitoleko Kafeero assured the SGS team that they would hasten the process of report writing since most issues have been resolved.
Kasilo County MP, Elijah Okupa commended SGS on revising the prices downward.
“We are happy that the fees were revised. They are now affordable,’ he said.
In March 2015, the Government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Works and Transport entered into an agreement with SGS to provide inspection of motor vehicles in Uganda – – a road safety measure intended to ensure vehicle roadworthiness and reduce carnage on Ugandan roads.
SGS commenced the provision of services in November 2016 and has seven inspection stations in Kampala, Gulu, Mbale, and Mbarara.
In 2017, Parliament tasked that Committee on Physical Infrastructure to investigate and inquire into mandatory vehicle inspection. The Attorney General presented a legal opinion that concluded that there were no legally justifiable grounds in the minority report that would entitle MoWT to terminate the SGS Contract without being in breach and that doing so would predispose the government to payment of colossal damages.
In June 2019, SGS was invited by the Government of Uganda to re-negotiate the initial contract. Whilst there was no contractual obligation on SGS part to change the valid agreement, an addendum was signed to accommodate concerns raised by the Parliament of Uganda