The Ugandan parliament has given its government a go ahead to borrow US $125.7m from Japanese and European banks for the construction of the new River Nile Bridge. The project is estimated to cost US $44.3m. The remaining money will finance the Masaka-Mbarara power transmission line project.
The loans were contained in two separate motions presented on the floor of Parliament by Finance Minister David Bahati (Ndorwa West County).
According to Ngora County MP David Abala, some Government projects have not been completed in time, and they have failed to meet the Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) policy to support local content.
Nile Bridge cable suspension
Similarly, the new Nile Bridge which was initially estimated to cost US $130m; will have a suspension cable that measures 525m long and, 22.9m wide. The existing bridge along the Nile (Owen Falls Dam) will be decommissioned on completion of works on the New Nile Bridge that will be fitted with diverse design features and technology.
In 2011, Parliament approved concessional financing of US $87m from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the construction of the new River Nile Bridge with the construction commencing two years later in 2013. In this regard, the completion date has been moved ahead by two months from April 2018.
The Government is expected to borrow US $45.6m from the French Agency for the development and construction of the River Nile Bridge and another loan of US $43m from the German Development Bank to finance the Masaka-Mbarara power transmission.
The Committee on National Economy observed that there is slow implementation of electricity projects as well as continued escalating compensations that needed to be catered for.