The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) today hosted the state minister for Transport, Fred Byamukama on a familiarisation tour of the sector.
In her welcoming remarks, the UNRA executive director, Allen Kagina, assured the new minister of UNRA’s support as he supervises the transport sector.
“In UNRA, you have highly skilled and technically competent agency that will ensure not only the achievement of National Development Plan III but the social and economic transformation of our nation,” she said.
In his remarks, Byamukama said he looks forward to being part of UNRA’s transformational journey.
The UNRA leadership team presented to Byamukama the various initiatives UNRA is undertaking in support of the enabling the growth of Uganda’s economy.
During the presentation, the director of Network Planning and Engineering, Eng. Isaac Wani, shared that in compliance with NDP 3, UNRA plans to deliver 3,532km of road upgrades, 32km of capacity improvement, 6 strategic bridges and designing 435km road expressways.
The directorate of Procurement shared that in the last three and a half years, contracts worth Shs 2.15 trillion have been awarded to local contractors, in a UNRA deliberate effort to support the capacity of
The directorate of Legal Services, Mary Kuteesa highlighted that since 2015, owing to the effort of the internal legal team, UNRA had achieved a 100% conviction rate for all concluded criminal cases, with Shs 300 billion saved in legal fees and reduced claims.
To highlight its incredible efficiency, the directorate shared that it had achieved 81% contract approval within two weeks of submission to the Solicitor General and had authored and implemented 17 policies and 3 regulations.
The director of Roads and Bridges, Sam Muhoozi, in his presentation highlighted that 29 projects equivalent to 1,791.6 Km of upgrade projects have been completed between 2016 and June 2021 compared to 17 projects equivalent to 998 kilometres completed in 7 years from 2008 to 2015, a 44% increase in the number of kms.
Additionally, 1,156.7Km of roads have been rehabilitated, 43 bridge projects constructed, 219.7 Km of town roads constructed and 17,759.85 ha of land acquired.
Competent in project management, this directorate ensured that the average cost increase due to Variation of Price (VOP) for 16 major upgrade projects was maintained at 2.49%, compared to VOP of over 20% before 2015.
For (13) out of the 19 major upgrade projects, the cost of design improvements during project implementation have been managed within the original contract at no extra cost, signifying the extra care UNRA undertakes to ensure that tax payers’ money is prudently managed.
As he concluded, the director indicated that the Unit Cost per Km of land acquisition from the 45 projects for the In-House Land Acquisition team is Shs 8 million and the consultant/private sector unit cost is at Shs 13 million.
This has translated into an aggregated reduction in the cost of acquiring land on Road Projects by 64.5%.
The acting director, Directorate Roads Infrastructure Protection, John Bosco Ssejjemba, shared that owing to 11 ferries in operation, Shs 10.8million passengers had been transported the past five years.
Additionally, 11 Fixed Weigh Stations and 5 Mobile Weigh Bridges are operational to ensure that the national roads are not overloaded. For those that had breached the overloading threshold, fines worth Shs 3.5 billion has been paid by transporters in fines.
This penalty system, introduced in 2015 when 52% of transporters were overloading national
roads, has achieved a considerable reduction to only 3% of transporters overloading national roads.
In her presentation, Director Human Resource, Jennifer Kaggwa, highlighted that the number of fully registered engineers in URA is 101, with the UNRA Graduate Engineering Program skilling 49 graduate
engineers. All members of UNRA’s senior leadership team have undergone the prestigious Exceed Leadership Program.
Edna Rugumayo, Director Corporate Services, assured the meeting that owing to the adoption of technology, UNRA operations had not been significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have automated most of our processes, this has greatly aided our efficiency in delivering the much sought after world class road services that citizens demand,” Rugumayo said.
Moses Kasakya, Director Internal Audit, shared that his Directorate had saved tax payers Shs 50 billion that would have been paid out in ineligible payments.
“We have reduced flaws in Interim Payment Certificates to 2% (March 2021). It was 19% in November 2015,” Moses concluded.