MinBane

I write what I like.

Archive for the category “Infrastructure”

Opinion: A never ending story called the Northern Bypass…

This is becoming a never ending story. Where the state, all the various ministries, state owned organizations and whoever gotten the tender has been able to finish the project of 21 kilometres or 23 kilometres. Since on that one this project even differs.

What we do know is that this have been in the courts over battle over payment for land. It has been postponed and stopped, because the company doing the work has been shoddy. There been plenty of controversy and not all good news. That is why these kilometres has taken so long to build and still isn’t finished.

It is really amazing how this continues and it seems that this will be prolonged even longer. Because, we know what season its getting into. Election season and then all sorts of budgets and campaigns whacks out everything else. Even if this one is now scheduled to be done by 2021. But we know how flexible the end-dates are. So don’t be confused if it is still unfinished in 2023 or 2025. Because this project that was launched in 2004 seems to be alive and kicking a little bit longer.

New Vision 2008:

THE public is still awaiting the opening of the 21km Kampala Northern Bypass. The project was launched on May 20, 2004 and was to last 30 months, ending on November 19, 2006. It was later extended by 10 months to September 2007. This was later to change to March this year, which deadline was also not met. This delay is causing public concern. Apart from reports of extortion by the guards who allow motorists to use the road illegally, accidents are beginning to happen” (Chris Kiwawulo – ‘Will the Northern Bypass ever be completed?’ 25.04.2008).

JICA Report in 2010:

The recent cooperation of the EU for the GKMA urban road sector is as follows:

Kampala Northern Bypass: €47.5 million, Construction of 21 km bypass to relieve congestion in Kampala City (completed and opened to the public in October 2009).

Technical Assistance to RAFU/UNRA: €2.0 million (on-going)” (JAPAN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGENCY (JICA) – ‘THE STUDY ON GREATER KAMPALA ROAD NETWORK AND TRANSPORT IMPROVEMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA –

FINAL REPORT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – NOVEMBER 2010).

CSBAG Paper 2018:

For example,the works on Kampala Northern Bypass registered a cumulative progress by end of June 2017 of 46.7% against the programmed 97.95%. The elapsed time was 98.81% based on the Original Program of Works. The major issues affecting progress is delayed site access, Design issues and Relocation of services” (…) “ Kampala Northern Bypass highlighted as a project to be concluded in FY 2018/19. This is not feasible as none of the six roundabouts which have sizable infrastructural and structural undertakings has been commenced on” (CSBAG – ‘CSO POSITION PAPER ON THE WORKS AND TRANSPORTSECTOR BUDGET FY2018/19’ 12.04.2018).

Article October 2019:

The upgrade of the Kampala Northern by pass into a four-lane high way started back in 2014 with the completion date set for November 2018. However, the date has been pushed to 2021 due to a couple of challenges hindering the project which include; changes on the original design and compensation of the affected people. Mr. Allan Ssempebwa, UNRA’s media manager last month said that the works stood at 60% and mentioned that the interchanges at Sentema and Namungoona will be handed over to the government by the end of this year” (Patrick Mulyungi – ‘Uganda to launch three new footbridges on Kampala Northern Bypass’ 02.10.2019).

So, we are seeing the stages of building is either not done or postponed. This is all done by various of reasons. The Kampala Northern Bypass are really a long prolonged project that seemingly seems never to end. Even the government own paper wondered about that 11 years ago and we have to wait another two years. But knowing how this ones goes. Don’t expect the state to follow its timeline.

What I wondering about, how proud is the European Union for supporting the project and the longevity of this. There should be questions from the ones who has funded it and why it takes so long. Since, they are accepting it and surely gotten the explanations. Because, we who follows haven’t really.

There are lame duck excuses with the land and the state paying the ones living there. Where the state has to pay for the hurt of building a road on private land. If they planned this and commenced this in 2004. By the time of 2019, the state should have been able to settle this and know the route of the road. However, they are showing lack of due diligence and putting the work in.

Because, the Northern Bypass should have been done by now. That isn’t rocket-science. This is made like this since people are eating of this project. Not like it should take this long to finish a 21/23 kilometres long tarmacked road around Kampala. But apparently it does. Peace.

Kenya: CS James Macharia – Press Release – Car Free Days in the City of Nairobi (30.01.2019)

The SGR Trick: Which was all based on, if Beijing blessed Kampala!

The Standard Gauge Railway in the East African Community was all based on if the Chinese counterparts wanted to fund the infrastructure and the grand enterprise of rails in the region. Today, it was revealed, not shockingly that the SGR works in Uganda has been suspended. This after reports in the Daily Monitor revealed this:

Uganda’s first phase of SGR, the eastern line running from Malaba to Kampala, about 273km (338km rail length), is expected to cost $2.3bn. Mr Kasaija admitted that Uganda has currently taken a back seat on the SGR venture, but will resume “serious discussions once Kenya is about to reach” the Ugandan side. President Museveni, according to sources familiar with the venture, in recent months had been directly involved in discussions on the project, and had hoped to secure financing for the first section of the railway line during his visit to China last month when he attended the seventh Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit. But he returned empty-handed. However, Mr Kasaija revealed that during the discussions in Beijing, it was agreed that “Uganda and Kenya will embark on joint financing negotiations” after Kenya has completed the current Nairobi-Naivasha section” (Daily Monitor – ‘Uganda puts SGR on hold over unresolved issues with Kenya’ 30.10.2018, link: https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/news/ea/uganda/Uganda-puts-SGR-over-unresolved-issues-kenya/4003148-4828902-156c5upz/index.html).

I have doubts that it will help reaching more agreements with the Kenyan counterparts at this time. As they have had plenty of agreements, joint communiques and meetings with the Northern Corridor Integrated Project (NCIP), which is going back to 2015. Where there was back in October 2015 on the 11th NCIP Communique, where the document stated: “the summit noted progress made in the finalisation of bankable proposals for some sections and directed the Ministers of Finance, Infrastructure, Attorney Generals, coordinated by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, to undertake a joint visit to EXIM Bank in China to conclude Financing Agreements” (11th NCIP Summit – Joint Communique’ Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya 17.10.2015).

If you follow it clearly, the progress of the 2015 have been stalled or rejected, but the parties still want to pursuit the goal of building the rails. Even as even the Chinese doesn’t believe in it or seeing the lack of fortunes in Kenya to maybe wishing to extend the tracks further at this given moment. What we are seeing is that the Ugandan government has persisted, but not gone through.

They even had the idea of the SGR Railway in the National Development Plan II of 3rd March 2015, which also holds the idea of the rails alive with this statement: “Joint formal agreements for plans to build a new Standard Gauge railway (SGR) have been signed by the EAC Countries. The SGR project starts in Mombasa through Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali and Juba. A cross section of the different routes of the SGR to the South Western, Northern, North Western and Eastern Uganda will aid the mining industry through transportation of equipment and raw materials. The overall objective of the SGR is to jointly develop and operate a modern, fast, reliable, efficient and high capacity regional railway transport system as a seamless single system and as a mechanism to stimulate overall economic development” (NDPII, 03.03.2015). By the way, the implementation of the NDPII is supposed to be between 2015/2016 to 2019/2020 to fulfill the Vision 2020. However, by the SGR failure, this shows the lack of progress and just the major agreements, but not the needed funding or possibility of partners to invest in the huge infrastructure projects the government has.

While on the 3rd of October, the Ministry of Works produced the 14th Joint Transport Sector Review Workshop presentation, where they by June 2018 stated: “The financing agreement for the SGR was not signed. However, negotiations to sign the financing agreement are in advanced stages” (Ministry of Works, 03.10.2018). So, you see, the government knows perfectly well, they cannot and doesn’t have finances for the building of it. It is soon November 2018 and getting closer to Vision 2020, but no sign of a working rails across the Republic. Especially not, when they are waiting for the Chinese to see it as a viable project in the first place.

What the government didn’t tell today or yesterday, is that the Chinese said no a little while ago:

For it to make business sense, the proposed line has to reach Uganda in order to take over a huge chunk of the haulage business in the landlocked country ahead of the Tanzania-Rwanda SGR line. Uganda is said to have decided to revamp its old metre-gauge railway when it became apparent that the Kenyan line could delay for up to three years. A regional weekly recently reported that the ministers for transport and finance of the two countries were supposed to have engagements with China Exim Bank on the sections of Kisumu to Kampala via Malaba” (…) “This, however, flopped and instead the executives from China Exim Bank flew to Kampala and later Nairobi last November to carry out due diligence on the Uganda project proposal and contract application” (Guguyu Otiato – ‘Worry as China puts SGR funding on hold’ 06.03.2018 link: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2001294667/alarm-as-china-puts-sgr-funding-on-hold).

So, when the government are saying it wasn’t signed, is that the Exim Chinese Bank rejected it and hasn’t accepted the infrastructure project at this point. Certainly, they don’t see it viable or even possible for profits. They have already started in Kenya, but has to finish that part, before they extend to the other Republics in the EAC. Therefore, the SGR is still a dream elsewhere in the Northern Corridor, as they seemed more ready in 2015, than the donors or the development partners ever where. Because the GoU are not ready to finance it self and not have the ability to do so. Without getting funding from the outside. They have to beg for loans and grants to get it. Peace.

To All Stakeholders: UNRA remains committed to its mandate (15.09.2018)

Somalia: Puntland Press Statement on Jalam – Harfo Road Project (13.09.2018)

Solicitor General letter to UNRA: Sector Support Project v RSSVP Lot 1 – Civil Works for Upgrading of Rukungiri Kihihi-Ishasha / Kanungu Road (78,5km) to Bituminous Standard (14.09.2018)

High Court of England & Wales restrains Djibouti’s port company from terminating joint venture with DP world (05.09.2018)

Port Company also prohibited from replacing DP World directors in joint venture Company.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, September 5, 2018 – The High Court of England & Wales has granted an injunction restraining Djibouti’s port company, Port de Djibouti S.A. (PDSA), from treating its joint venture shareholders’ agreement with global trade enabler DP World as terminated. The High Court has further prohibited PDSA from removing directors of the Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) joint venture company who were appointed by DP World pursuant to that agreement. PDSA is not to interfere with the management of DCT until further orders of the Court or the resolution of the dispute by a London-seated arbitration tribunal.

PDSA is owned in majority by the Government of Djibouti and its CEO is the Chairman of the Ports & Free Zones Authority of Djibouti. Hong Kong-based China Merchants is the minority shareholder in PDSA.

The High Court’s order follows the unlawful attempt by PDSA to terminate the joint venture agreement with DP World and the calling of an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on 9 September by PDSA to replace DP World appointed directors of the DCT joint venture company.  This is the third legal ruling in relation to the Doraleh Container Terminal following two previous decisions from the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), all of them in favour of DP World. It recognises that although PDSA is the majority shareholder of the DCT joint venture company, it is DP World that has management control of the company, in accordance with the parties’ legally binding contracts.

The new ruling against PDSA, issued by the Court without PDSA’s participation, makes clear that PDSA:

  • Cannot act as if the joint venture agreement with DP World has been terminated
  • Cannot appoint new directors or remove DP World’s nominated directors without its consent
  • Cannot cause the DCT joint venture company to act on the “Reserved Matters” without DP World’s consent
  • Cannot instruct or cause DCT to give instructions to Standard Chartered Bank in London to transfer funds to Djibouti

If PDSA disobeys the Court’s order and seeks to replace DP World nominated directors of DCT on 9 September, it may be in contempt of court and face a fine or the seizure of its assets and its officers and directors may be imprisoned.

The Court has ordered PDSA to present its defence at another hearing on 14 September.

Meanwhile, DP World is notifying Standard Chartered Bank so that the bank will reject any instructions that may be sent to them after the 9 September meeting. China Merchants, who have been given operational control of the Djibouti Freezone in breach of DP World’s exclusivity rights, will also be informed given its minority shareholding in PDSA.

Opinion: If the Cabinet scraps NMS and UNRA, what about the weird expenditures at the Presidential Affairs?

As the giant Cabinet of the Republic are planning to scrap Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) and National Medical Stores (NMS), that these are going back into their ministries. Because of how these two organizations has supposed wasted government funds and spending. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) knows the ordeal and the reasons for that, but they are instead scrapping the organizations, to keep the deals in-house and not as sole organization doing the operations as expert organizations for the government. That is why this will go back to Ministry of Works and Transport for UNRA and Ministry of Health for NMS. I have one more vital idea for the Cabinet members, but don’t expect them to so.

Today’s news:

The Cabinet has taken a decision to scrap Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) and National Medical Stores and transfer their mandate to the mother ministries to reduce wastage of resources. According to a source, the decision was taken in two meetings with the first held on August 20 and the last one on Monday last week. The source said President Museveni was unhappy with the UNRA performance, especially in the rural areas where roads are impassable yet it is where majority of votes for his NRM party are” (Andrew Bagala – ‘UNRA to be scrapped in merger of government agencies’ 03.09.2018 link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/UNRA-to-be-scrapped-merger-government-agencies/688334-4740804-qvrsbnz/index.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter_DailyMonitor).

As these ideas are noble, but we know the reasons in itself. More direct control and cannot use the organizations as faults for the corrupt, graft and embezzlement anymore. The Cabinet are thinking this will stop this, but they are just making sure the deals and agreements made with tenders and buying, will be happening in-house and not by experts in the same regard as today. That is the real reaction to what is happening with this.

My advise would be find ways to merger and move responsibility from the Office of the President, State House and Office of the Prime Minister. As these could be moved to their representative ministries, as the Youth Livelihood Programme should end elsewhere. The budgets for the Residential District Commissioners are put under the President, this should be put Minister of Local Government and not under the President.

Like what does the budget of Internal Security Organization and External Security Organization lay under neath Office of the President, as this should be under the Ministry of Internal Affairs or Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As well as all the development expenditure that is parts of the Office of the President and Office of the Prime Minister. Both of these should have been put under fitting expertise of certain ministries, as the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Education and Sports, Ministry of Works and Transport and so on. As well, as the ones fitting Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Internal Affairs. All these ministries could have connected these projects under the State House, Office of the President and Office of the Prime Minister.

Like what does the Uganda AIDS Commission does under the Office of the President, shouldn’t this be under the Ministry of Health? Why does the Office of the Prime Minister have the Disaster Preparedness and not the Ministry of Internal Affairs or the Ministry of Local Government?

This is just what I wonder about, because, if the Cabinet is serious about scrapping UNRA and NMS, why are not the government looking into the weird expenditures at the Office of the Prime Minister, State House or even the Office of the President?

They should really ask and wonder. If they are not doing this as a political stunt, as we know how corrupt these enterprises are, but will it make a difference to cut out the middle-man? Peace.

Is the Filipino getting into a debt-trap with China like Sri Lanka and Tonga?

If you owe your bank a hundred pounds, you have a problem. But if you owe a million, it has.”John Maynard Keynes

There are worries about the rising levels of debt the Philippines has to China. That should worry all Filipino. Since, this will be repaid, even as the infrastructure projects under the President is served now. The time for repaying these debts will come. This might be the next one after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte might have to answer for that. But he should be worry himself of the levels he is putting the Republic in, unless he wants important parts of the infrastructure be “given” to the Chinese as a way of repaying the debt like Sri Lanka did.

The conclusion of an agreement with China to manage the Hambantota port was seen as inevitable after the government buckled under Chinese pressure when the China Communication and Construction Co Ltd, which was building the port city, demanded USD 143 million as compensation for the stalling of the work. The Sri Lankan government was also compelled to renegotiate the Colombo Port city project last year, which had been suspended due to criticism about the Chinese ownership of 20 hectares of freehold land as well as controversy over the project’s possible negative environmental impact” (Smruti S. Pattanaik – ‘New Hambantota Port Deal: China Consolidates its Stakes in Sri Lanka’ 17.08.2017).

This story should be worrying for the Philippines as the rising debt to China will come to roost one day. Duterte has accepted and taken it for his projects, but will it be sustainable. That is something he himself should ask himself and also if they can repay this debt without paying a high price.

Jovito Jose P. Katigbak reported in June 2018 this: “Another issue worth noting is debt sustainability. There are concerns that borrowing heavily from China will lead the country into a debt trap. A 2017 Forbes article contends that the Philippine government debt could swell up to USD 452 billion by 2027, which translates to a debt-to-GDP ratio of 197 percent. The estimated figure is based on an annual 10 percent interest rate on loans levied by the Chinese government, hence tying the Philippines into a “virtual debt bondage”” (CIRSS Commentaries – ‘BRIDGING THE INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT GAP THROUGH FOREIGN AID: A BRIEFER ON CHINESE ODA’ June 2018).

If the Filipino doesn’t get to worried about the amount they are borrowing from China. It isn’t only Sri Lanka who has eaten over more debt than they can swallow and has to repay with other means. There are worry in the Pacific island of Tonga.

As reported from Tonga: “Chinese aid in the Pacific region has increased dramatically in recent years and the country has become the region’s second-largest donor. Tonga’s debt to China has been estimated to be more than $100m by Australia’s Lowy Institute think-tank. The prime minister told local media last week that countries would get together to ask the Chinese government to “forgive their debts”. “To me, that is the only way we can all move forward, if we just can’t pay off our debts,” he added. Beijing has refused to write off loans in the past but has given Tonga an amnesty on repayments” (Simone Rench – ‘Tonga premier to ask China to ‘forgive’ Pacific debts’ 21.08.2018 link: https://www.publicfinanceinternational.org/news/2018/08/tonga-premier-ask-china-forgive-pacific-debts).

We have seen what the Chinese done to the Sri Lankan and Tongan counterparts. Both of instances could be happening to the Philippines. Not that you wish that, but the repayments of the growing debt will happen at one point. Even if there is long grace-period of lower rates on the interests as promised to Manila. You can wonder when the Beijing want to recoup the funds and the debt.

Right now, Duterte has a good relationship with Beijing, but when do they feel they have invested enough in the Build! Build! Build! (BBB) projects and wants profits and returns on the investments?

Because the Chinese will not do this forever. They might act nice at first and investing in infrastructure projects as a part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), but when time goes by and lack of repayment hits the fan. The familiar faces of Beijing will get their value for the money and the sovereignty will be taken away. As a port, a piece of mines or exploration of some sort of industrial output will go directly to Beijing and a state owned company. Since they will get their repayment for all the offered debt to the nation.

That is what Duterte is risking, if it is oil exploration and extraction, mineral resources or even ports that is vital to the business done in the Philippines. Does he wants to risk that for the signature building of the BBB?

Peace.

Bugiri By-Election: The Final Stages now and Museveni offers only development there if they vote for NRM!

The last day of the campaigns in the Bugiri By-Election, which the final polls are on the 27th July 2018. This is where the candidates of Asuman Basalirwa (JEEMA), John Francis Oketcho (NRM) and Eunice Namatende (FDC). All of this candidates has massive backings from their parties and allies. Where the Police Force have started to follow Asuman Basalirwa especially and his ally Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, whose been followed and monitored by the Police Force. Therefore, you know that National Resistance Movement doesn’t want to lose this new district.

We know, that Museveni is behind his candidate, who will be part of the NRM Caucus and follow his every lead. That is why he went to Bugiri to tell his side of the story, because he couldn’t do without. Museveni have to be a part and also show his power to the tin-soldier he wants from the district. That is just the way he do.

Bugiri by-election: President Yoweri Museveni has pledged to connect the people of Bugiri with clean water, construct for them better roads if they vote NRM’s Francis Oketcho. Museveni said the NRM is a party of action and this has been exhibited bvy the many things that have been done among them construction of better roads and the improved hospitals” (93.3 KFM, 25.07.2018).

What is the weirdest from all the final rallies from Basalirwa, Namatende and Oketcho where packed. That is just weird, all photos from these rallies are filled to the brim. Therefore, the pictures from Museveni rally isn’t alone. The FDC rally had Dr. Kizza Besigye and Patrick Amuriat Oboi, these two people could gain crowds on their own too. That Bobi Wine and Basalirwa would bring people are natural, as the swagger of Bobi Wine hits the masses. While Museveni could for all we know, be ferrying masses from other parts of Busoga and giving them food and gifts. That is what the NRM have done during the General Election last time. So why not do it now too?

Well, Voter Tourism might be a thing. While the bigger story is how Museveni continues to talk. The government will deliver project, only if Bugiri vote for his guy. The Bugiri people will get roads and such, if they do the right thing and votes for Oketcho. That means, the government is only there for you, if you follow the direct orders of the State House. This is the final implication and shows the lack of democratic values in the President.

He only gives, if people give him all power. That is what is just in the eyes of the President. NRM or nothing. No Remedy Mentioned (NRM) continues, as the pledges of roads hits Bugiri, a promise that Museveni have been given steadily since at least 2006 for certain parts of constituency. Therefore, as always with the NRM, there have to be recycled pledges. That is just protocol by now.

What is really insulting, is the state of “if they vote”, that means he will stop funding and stop being acting as President over the Constituency, if they vote for someone else. Bugiri will not get money or tax money for development projects, infrastructure development and everything else.

That is what he is saying.

Bugiri will be yet another place, that Museveni might wipe out of the map. As people will not follow his orders. They are not his property, even if he acts like it. Peace.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: