By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has directed the Ministry of Public Service to merge 180 state agencies, authorities and commissions in 65 government entities in a bid to save tax payers a burden of over Shs1 trillion in government expenditure.
Over the years, economic observers and analysts have voiced out their concerns on the extravagant expenditure of the government of Uganda with minimal accountability, something that is not fitting for a country that relies heavily on loans, donations and grants, and is suffocating in debts of more than Shs40 trillion.
This extravagant expenditure is characterised by sometimes unnecessary travel of government officials abroad that carry with them a team full of people with no assigned duties and creation of government agencies with similar duplicated roles, among others.
For over two years now, the government has been looking at the possibility of cutting its expenditure by merging several departments and agencies, and doing away with the excess. Yesterday, the Cabinet agreed to merge 180 agencies into 65 in a move that is expected to save the government an estimated Shs998 billion over the next three years.
This is the second time in two years that government is moving to merge agencies.
In 2018, Minister of Gender, Labour, and Social Development Frank Kagyigyi Tumwebaze, who was the Minister of ICT then, revealed the 185 government agencies and departments that will be merged, and here is the full list:
Agencies under the Accountability Sector approved to be merged;
- Insurance Regulatory Authority, Uganda Retirement Benefits
- Regulatory Authority and Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority merged to create specialized directorates for nonbank supervision within the Bank of Uganda.
Agencies under the Trade and Investment Sector approved to be Merged
- Uganda Investment Authority,
- Enterprise Uganda Foundation Limited
- Uganda Free Zone Authority merged to create specialized departments under the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
- Uganda Exports Promotion Board should be collapsed into a department under the Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives.
Agencies under the Tourism and Wildlife Sector to be merged;
- Uganda Wildlife Education Centre Trust (UWECT),
- Uganda Tourist Board (UTB)
- Uganda Wildlife Authority and Uganda Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary should be collapsed into specialized departments under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities.
Agencies under the Education Sector to be merged
- National Council of Higher Education, National Curriculum Development and Directorate of Industrial Training should be merged into one Council.
Agencies across the Health, Public Management, and Agriculture Sectors to be merged
- National Animal Genetic Resource Center and Data Bank (NAGRIC) and the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) should be merged under Policy and Administration, but create separate departments to handle specialized areas.
- Uganda Cancer Institute and Uganda Heart Institute should be merged and returned to Mulago Specialized Hospital as Directorates and staff Salaries duly enhanced to retain them.
- Virus Research Institute, National Chemotherapeutic Research Institute, and Joint Clinical Research Center should be merged under the Uganda National Health Research Organization.
- Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council, Allied Health Professional Council, Medical and Dental Practitioners Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda should be merged to create one council with specialized departments to handle specialized areas.
Agencies under the Public Sector Management; Lands, Housing and Urban Development and Accountability to be merged
- National Population Council, Economic Policy and Research Centre merged to integrate the functions of both autonomous and Semi-autonomous planning Agencies and Boards into the National Planning Authority.
- National Physical Planning and Metropolitan Physical Planning Authority should be merged into a department under the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
- Public Service Commission, Health Service Commission, Education Service Commission, approved to be merged into one Public Service Commission with specialized Departments to handle Public Servants under respective specialized areas.
Agencies to be merged under the Works and Infrastructure Development
- Uganda National Roads Authority should be collapsed into a department under the Ministry of Works and Transport.
Agencies to be merged under the Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Uganda NGO Registration Board
Agencies to be merged under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral
- Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited, Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited, Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited and Rural Electrification Agency
Agencies under the Accountability Sector to be mainstreamed back into sector Ministries
- Non-Performing Assets Recovery Trust;
- Non-Performing Assets Recovery Tribunal;
- Departed Asians’ Property Custodian Board
- National Lotteries Board
- Uganda Energy Credit and Capitalization Company Limited
- Uganda Energy Credit and Capitalization Company Limited
Agencies under the Trade and Investment Sector to be mainstreamed
- Uganda Commodities Exchange
- The Uganda Warehouse Receipt System Authority
Agencies under the Justice Law and Order Sector to be Mainstreamed
- Amnesty Commission;
- National Citizenship and Immigration Control;
- Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution;
- Uganda Registrations services Bureau.
Agencies under the Public Sector Management to be mainstreamed
- National Records and Archives Agency.
Agencies under the Agriculture Sector to be Mainstreamed
- National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS);
- Uganda Trypanosomiasis Control Council;
- Diary Development Authority;
- Uganda Coffee Development Authority;
- Uganda Cotton Development Organization;
- Uganda Livestock Industries Limited;
- Uganda Seeds Limited
Agencies under the Energy Sector to be Mainstreamed
- Uganda Atomic Energy Council
- Electricity Disputes Tribunal.
Agencies under the Education Sector to be Mainstreamed
- Students Financing Board;
- National Library of Uganda;
Agencies under the Water and Environment Sector to be Mainstreamed
- National Forestry Authority;
- Uganda National Meteorological Authority.
Ministry of Health
- Uganda Blood Transfusion Services
- Uganda AIDS Commission.
Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development
- Uganda Land Commission
Ministry of Works and Transport
- National Roads Safety Boards
- Transport Licensing Boards
Uganda Road Fund.