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Archive for the tag “MoFPED”

President Museveni letter to Hon. Monica Azuba Ntege – Ruling out external or internal borrowing for development infrastructure (18.09.2019)

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Another look into the Oil-Road Cost: “Package 2” Hoima-Butiaba-Wanseko Road!

In the newest report of Oil Roads, which is expected to borrow funds for. The China Exim Bank is supposed to be provider of 85 % of the cost of the operation and building of the roads in these projects. I will only look into one of them, as I have previously looked at this significant one.

This is the Hoima-Butiaba-Wasenko Road. A project that was supposed to start in 2015 and was clocking in funds from the state budgets in 2017. Back in 2015, the road was estimated to cost $126m USD. Today, with the recent report, the same road is costing $179,538m USD. That is jump of nearly $50m in a five years time. In addition, of these bloated funds, 85 % of it will be loaned from China and the rest 15% covered by the Government of Uganda (GoU).

In 2017, this project was designated the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), which signed a deal in January 2016. However, by the time of the report 2019, it is another Chinese Company who has the contract. This is Chongqing International Construction Corporation (CRC) Ltd. With the recent contract, the loans are clearly getting direct back to the Chinese, as their corporations are the ones with the contracts to build. A clever way of borrowing and then getting returns.

With this mind, we can see the changes, see over the years how the price has changed. If Members of Parliament was afraid of the price per kilometre in the past. They should be now. As the changes of price on the same project has changed significantly. There is no doubt, that the Chinese government are getting added loans on each of the packages in this deal. As this is just one of the roads in question.

This is 111km is now costing 659,921,964,460.17UGX in Ugandan terms or 659bn shillings and that equals to about 5,9bn shillings. Therefore, the prices has sky-rocketed and the price per kilometre is abnormal and extremely costly. The overpriced asphalt and the consultation is in absurd levels. The previosly estimated price for this road was about 444bn shillings. Therefore, we can see rising price between the years in both currencies. About 200bn shillings growth in 5 years. 

To many cooks and too few ingredients. They are boiling soup on nails on this one. Wonder how this will end. As I felt in 2017, that the pricing of this particular road was a bit too much, but now they have just escalated it.

We can wonder whose eating, but someone is. We just don’t know who, because there been designated funds to build this one in the past and it has still not commenced. Surely, this road will be built, but at what point. However, with the added loans, the pressure should be on. Also, to secure the oil so it makes financial sense too. That the added value is there. It got to be. Because this project is over the top. This is the real OTT service, paid for by the Chinese and the tab is all taken by the Ugandans. Peace.

OTT Tax: Totally failed its supposed revenue targets in 2018!

Today, the Uganda Communication Commission released their annual sector performance report of July 2019. It was really a bit funny look, as the state, the President and all of his handlers said the Over-The-Top Services would create a tax-base and revenue, which would benefit the state. That is why Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) had set up targets to streamline these new taxes.

I will show more of the fun and explain, as the UCC report really shows how malfunction and lack of due diligence hurt. But first a previous calculation, which was stated to the media. To show how much lack of tax-base the OTT had in 2018, as it was implemented in July and keeps pushing to this date.

Look:

Daily Monitor Reports: “Government collected Shs20.5b from social media in the last quarter ended September, according to data obtained from Uganda Revenue Authority. The tax, which was implemented in July, was however, less than the Shs24.9b target that URA had hoped to collect in the period. URA has a monthly target of Shs8.3b. The tax was introduced in the Excise Duty amendments of financial year 2018/19 requiring all social media users to pay Shs200 per day, before accessing certain platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter, among others. Government intends to collect about Shs100b before the end of the 2018/19 financial year” (Christine Kasemiire – ‘OTT raises Shs20b in first quarter, URA fails on targets’ 07.11.2018).

Let’s first do the math, accordingly, as the URA monthly target is 8,3bn shillings in revenue, every single month. A quarter of a Financial Year is 4 months. In today’s UCC report, it shows the numbers for the Q3 and Q4 of 2018. Which means, that states revenue from July-September and October-December in the previous years. By these standards its 8,3bn X3 to get the supposed of any given Q. That is 24,9bn shillings is estimated to earn per quarter.

However, the UCC report states that in the Q3, the revenue was 12,696,558,400 or 12,6bn shillings which is only about half of the anticipated revenue. The final quarter or Q4 isn’t much better:12,952,833,800 or 12,9bn shillings. Of the estimated earnings, the state is nearly able to gain about half of its target. The market and the consumers are not contributing or using the phones as much as they thought. What is striking if you combine the two quarters of revenue is that the state earned approximately 25,5bn shillings, which is sadly just above one quarter estimate of the URA in supposed revenue on this tax. The estimated earnings of the period would be about 49,8bn and this shows the state managed a deficit of about 24,3bn shillings. That is about on quarters earning not happening at all. Thats a giant shortfall of cash and the URA/UCC needs to explain the Ministry of Finance this one, because this a major loss of promised funding for the state.  

This shows how failed this tax is and what a waste of enforcement and making the tax in its first place. This isn’t fun and games, but a way of misusing power to tax people, just because you find something obnoxious. That is how it seems, since the President want to stop the gossip online and such. Stop spreading of information and ensure that poorest cannot afford to get online and use the OTT services. Because, that what this tax does. Peace.

Deficit Financing: The art of fresh loans for the FY2019/20!

Deficit financing, however, may also result from government inefficiency, reflecting widespread tax evasion or wasteful spending rather than the operation of a planned countercyclical policy. Where capital markets are undeveloped, deficit financing may place the government in debt to foreign creditors. In addition, in many less-developed countries, budget surpluses may be desirable in themselves as a way of encouraging private saving” (Encyclopaedia Britannica – ‘Deficit financing’ (25.08.2015).

Just as it is soon a new Financial Year and also another budget. This time its for the FY 2019/20, the last one before campaigning. Therefore, the added strain on the economy will come, as the state funds are used for campaigns for the ruling regime. This is a steady act of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. We can expect more of it. That is the reason why the lack of fiscal responsibility is evident. As the state is within a year going from spending 32 trillion shilling into 40 trillion shillings. This without substantial rate or even more revenue to cover the added expenses. That means the state is more addicted to loans and grants.

Surely, the people should be aware, as the state has already gotten more loans and has to pay more in interests than before. With the new infrastructure loans and other development projects will hit the costs in future budgets. Even with Petro-Dollar, the state still has a lot of old debt to get revenue to cover. Especially, in the short-term window, as the grace periods of old loans will hit the budgets too. It seems like the state is only considering the debt-rate, but not the actual cost of the loans in itself.

That is why I will take one quote from the IMF, before showing what reports there was from Parliament, As they have voted for a new budget, which has escalating spending further without the revenue. That should be a worry. Take a look!

IMF May 2019:

Rising debt puts more strain on the budget as more resources need to be allocated for interest payments. One shilling paid for debt service is one shilling less going to a school or a health clinic. The current ratio of interest payments to revenue is comparable to what countries with high risk or in debt distress typically face” (IMF – ‘Uganda’s Economic Outlook in Six Charts’ 09.05.2019).

Rising debt:

The Committee noted that , the total public debt stock increased by 12.5 percent to USD 11.52 billion as at end December 2018 from USD 10.24 billion as at end December, 2Ol7 out of which domestic and external debt accounted for 33.5 percent (USD 3.86 billion) and 66.5 percent (USD 7.66 billion) respectively. The external debt stock increased by USD 0.78 billion to USD 7.66 billion by end December 2018 from USD 6.88 billion at end December 2017. The increase was mainly from China (25 percent) and World Bank (40 percent)” (REPORT OF THE BUDGET COMMITTEE ON THE ANNUAL BUDGET ESTIMATES FOR FY 2O19/20, P: 7, 2019).

Minority report on growing debt:

Worrying to note is the fact that huge portion of the budget resource is to be financed through borrowing. Out of the projected by domestic revenue of UGX 20.59 trillion (51%) while the budget of UGX 40.48 trillion, 9.44 trillion (48%) will be sourced from both domestic or external borrowing” (…) “It should be noted with concern that projected are almost debt expenditures in FY2019/20 equal to tax revenue (URA tax collection) of UGX 20.59 trillion” (A MINORITY REPORT ON ANNUAL BUDGET ESTIMATES TY 2019/20, P: 4-5, 2019).

It should be worrying how easily this budget was passed. How between last FY 2018/19 to FY 2019/20 the state could add 8 trillion shillings on the budgets. This without counting or even having the added revenue needed. This meaning the state has a giant deficit, which is about half of the budget. Where they have to get funding from outside sources, either by loans or grants. Lots will be loaned for and has to be paid for later with interests.

Certainly, this is a way of ensuring that for every shilling paid in loans, the state could have delivered state services to the public. That is even something the IMF was pointing out. This should be a worry for Ugandans, as the state is misusing the funds, loaning and borrowing on their future, without certainty of being able to repay these loans. That is what is shocking as the oil revenue has been postponed again and the lack of progression on the matter. This means the state is not hitting its targets, while taking up more loans on future revenue. Anyone should be worried about this, because who knows tomorrow and what if the economy totally tanks before the industry takes off. They are clearly living large on Deficits Financing and hoping the golden goose soon lays eggs. Since, they are continuing to fund their operations and the state with loans.

Than, the oil will be sold wholesale, as the state cannot manage to gain revenue and has to trade off everything. The risks it is taking is reckless. The spending is bonkers. That the state is initially a year before an Election Year is creating this huge deficit. Isn’t a sign of strength, but of weakness. As well, as having a blind faith, hoping for a narrow escape in the realm of Deficit financing. Peace.

Uganda National Oil Company: Press Release (14.05.2019)

Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC): Dr. Josephine Wapakabulo resignation letter as Chief Executive Officer (13.05.2019)

Uganda: Anti-Corruption Unit – Request for Your Intervention in the Delayed Confirmation of Officers in Acting Capacity and Irregular Recruitment of Inspectorate Officers into the Inspectorate of Government (20.03.2019)

Report to the Media on Status of the Revival of Uganda Airlines (10.04.2019)

Uganda National Airlines: Let’s Get It Started!

“Everybody (yeah), everybody (yeah), just get into it (yeah), get stupid (come on)

Get it started, (come on) get it started (yeah), get it started”The Black Eyed Peas, ‘Let’s Get It Started’ 2003

Well, this week has been revealing in concerning the supposed newly minted airlines in Uganda. Where the state incorporated Uganda National Airlines Limited in January 2018. However, the supposed registration and certification happen this week. The documentation now shows, that the Ministers are owners of the Airline and it’s registered on the 26th March 2019 and certified on the 27th March 2019.

Alas, the state has already spent close to $30m USD on it, as they have procured several of planes for the operations and the first are supposed to arrive on the 31st March 2019. Therefore, the whole ownership and usage of state funds comes into question. As the Report to Parliament confessed that the state and the two ministries only owned 2 shares out of 2 million, until yesterday, when suddenly the Ministers of Works and Transport and Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development suddenly had 1 million shares each, a 50 50 split.

This all seems suspicious and within reason. Because, it has been done in wrong order and ensured to not follow procedures or anything of that fashion. As the State for the second time are infringed to deliver new funds to State Owned Enterprise, even as the ghosts of owners and registration suddenly appears. You can wonder, if they would have done this, if it didn’t get public scrutiny. Because, the scribbling document of ownership only appeared, when the Observer and other media houses questioned it.

This shows that there was something lurking and weird about it all. Where the insiders and the ones operating it, maybe, had shell-companies and significant portfolios, where they could earn the profits of this state owned enterprise. That would not be shocking, even if all the investments, all the funding and procurement have happen directly from the Ministries and with the blessings from above high.

With all of this in the open. It seriously question the operation, the ownership and who really controls the company as whole, because its hard to believe the two ministries does it. As it was incorporated in January 2018, but was registered shareholders yesterday, a year and two months after. Which is suspicious at best, if not revealing of how the state operates in this matters.

We can play along and act a fool, but that doesn’t change the remaining questions, the lack of trust and also the lack of protocol. As the state have toyed around spent fortunes on establishing, procuring and investing in the company, while it has been a ghost and non existing entity, which could be someone’s secret bank-account.

Certainly, this is not over and will leave a giant paper-trail that somehow will be resolved in the State House and by whoever the benefactor whose project this is. Because, that is the rule of the day and how these things are under this Presidency. It is common knowledge, but never really said or revealed, unless, family members of the President owns it or runs it. Peace.

URSB: Uganda National Airlines Company Ltd Certified today (27.03.2019)

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