OMORO-Leaders of Omoro district in Northern Uganda are calling on government to allocate more funds to ease the operations of newly created and commissioned Palenga Town council.
Omoro district LCV Chairperson Douglas Okello Peter said the district is going to be forced to use 48 million shilling sent by the government under the Uganda Road Fund (URF) to operationalize the district.
“I would like thank the government for granting us Palenga town council but, since July 1 2017, we have only received 48 million under the Road Fund but not a single coin for administration. This is making our work very difficult,” Okello noted.
He however appreciated the Finance ministry for approving their request by approving two town councils of Palenga and Acet town council due on 1 July, 2018.
Tochi County MP Peter Okot said government should ensure proper budget allocation to the lower local government units that currently stands only 30% of the national budget with next financial year`s projection declining to 11%.
Jenipher Namuyangu Byakatonda, the Minister of State for local government in her response said government has allocated undisclosed amount of money for the operationalization of the new town councils of Omoro whilst country wide.
Namuyangu revealed that the delay to fund the newly created sub counties and town councils is due to the cabinet decisions who first want to enhance and improve on the payment of the government employees, including the political and technical staff in Uganda.
”The delay in funding the town councils is due to a cabinet decision to first enhance the salaries of government employees including technical and political leaders to improve on the monitoring of government projects in their localities,” Minister Namuyangu added.
The newly commissioned Palenga town council was curved out of Bobi Sub County. It has other five small administrative units of Odyak ward, Oduku ward, Ibar ward, Gudu ward and Iraa ward.
Meanwhile, Acet town council scheduled to begin operations next financial year of 2018/2019 has Acet central, Lamincoba, Oratido and Romkituku wards all in Omoro district.
Five technical staff has so far been recruited by the district as per the guideline issued by Ministry of local government.
Mr. Tom Butime, the local government Minister in his directive dated 5 October 2017, directed the district to recruit technical staff including Town clerk, Town treasurers, and internal auditors among other technical staff.
Currently, there are a total of 189 newly created town councils created in the financial years of 2017/18 and 2018/19, bringing the total to 422.