Allen Kagina, the Uganda National Roads Authority has asked her employees not to panic following news of its scrapping and returned to the works ministry.
Cabinet chaired by President Museveni on Tuesday in a bid to restructure and cut expenditure took a decision to scrap and merge some of the semi-autonomous agencies and authorities.
Addressing journalists on Tuesday, ICT minister Frank Tumwebaze said UNRA, which employs over 1000 people will be scrapped.
“Yes, UNRA is among those agencies that will be mainstreamed into Ministry of Works,”Tumwebaze said.
However, in an email to all UNRA staff, Kagina asked employees to keep calm because the decision by government is meant to streamline public administration and supervision to reduced public expenditure.
“I believe government will communicate the timing and implementation timelines. I expect that it will not happen in the short run as most of the institutions affected were set up by Acts of Parliament and can only be repealed by another act,”Kagina said in a September 11 communication to all UNRA employees.
“In the meantime, colleagues I continue to urge you to remain calm and committed to your assignments and work as hard as you have been doing.”
Tumwebaze told journalists that though some employees will lose jobs, the move will help create more and also save government over one trillion shillings in salaries.
“Don’t look at how many in agency X will lose jobs without looking at how many)(jobs) will be created. Don’t cry over those who will lose jobs in the restructuring because they can work in districts like Kaabong, Kamwenge which have human resource gaps that need to be filled,” Tumwebaze said on Tuesday.
He cited an example of executive directors of various agencies that can still work in their mother ministry as commissioners and this way no jobs will have been lost in the new move.
He noted that merging of authorities and agencies will help government liberate resources which could be used to harmonise the salary disparities in various ministries and agencies.
“It is not good to have public service officials to have varying salaries. If you are a very good executive director in an agency we would not like to lose you, we shall take you on as a commissioner in a ministry.”
The move by government to scrap and merge some agencies comes on the backdrop of a report by the Internal Security Organisation highlighting heavy expenditure by these entities.
The report released in November indicated that these agencies spend more on workshop, employ fewer people and spend a lot of money on advertisements compared to mainstream public service ministries.
In total, the report noted that Uganda’s entire wage bill for the financial year 2016/17 3.36 trillion and of this, Shs 1.7 trillion was paid to workers in the central government (including agencies) while Shs 1.6 trillion was paid to local government workers.