National News

GOV’T AWARDS UPDF 7BILLION CONSTRUCTION PROJECT

By Christopher Nyeko

GULU: The Government of Uganda through Ministry of Internal Affair has awarded Uganda People’s Defence Forces {UPDF} 7.56 billion shillings project for the construction of directorate of citizenship and immigration regional office in Gulu City.

The UPDF engineering brigades under the consultancy supervision by ministry of work and transport has already commenced the construction of a three storied building which was officially launched on Friday in Gulu City.

Maj. Apollo Kasita Gowa, Director Citizenship and immigration control assured the contractor UPDF on timely release of the fund.

He promised additional provision of transport means to the northern region immigration office in response to the concerns raised by George Walingo Ameny who is regional officer.

Gowa praised the UPDF as one of the best entities in implementing the government construction work,
“Your professionalism was again factored in this award of the construction of the 7.56 billion projects so work hard so that next time you will be awarded another project.”

Meanwhile Lt. Col. Eng. Peter Kidemuka the UPDF engineering officer said the work at the site located at upper Churchill senior quarter in Laroo- Pece division Gulu city commenced on the 12 September and is expected to be completed in September 2023.

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“I pledge that if the resources are timely, their work will never stall, as UPDF engineering brigades, we have been trusted by the government for our professionalism, hard work reliability and timeliness”

UPDF engineering brigades have received 178 billion shillings to implement over 187 government construction projects. The projects involve construction of schools, hospitals, bridges and roads.

These awarded projects include 09 projects from the office of the prime minister, 84 ministry of health, 03  ministry of education and sport, 81 ministry of local government and 1 project from civil aviation authority respectively.

In his July 1st directive, the president said that over time, the UPDF Engineering Brigade has been able to build capacity to handle several projects ranging from simple, high level, and then advanced construction projects.

He noted the move would help avoid the delays that have several times been occasioned to government projects by the contractors.

“I have noted with concern that many of the government projects in other sectors are often delayed due to lengthy procurement processes and in other cases, corruption perpetrated by some unscrupulous government Workers. I am very certain that we can avoid all these delays in implementing government construction projects by utilizingA the army construction brigade to undertake these works,” Museveni said.

The UPDF Engineering Brigade was involved in the construction of the Namugongo martyrs shrine, Mbuya military referral hospital, Kololo independence grounds and housing units in various army barracks throughout the country.

The brigade also constructed the UPDF Mubende hospital that provides artificial limbs to soldiers who lose limbs during war as well as the new shs7.9 billion state of the art facilities at the National Institute of Leadership (NALI) at Kyankwanzi in Kyankwanzi district.

The National Enterprises Corporation is handling the construction works for the Kiira Motors Corporation vehicle plant in Jinja.
NEC was also recently contracted by the Uganda Investment Authority to construct 25 industrial parks across the country.

George Walingo Ameny the northern immigration officer decries power outages in the city and urged the director to support their budget for generator operational cost which he said is too much for them to cater for.

“Our office is being disturbed by erratic power supply, few vehicles for easy movement of the officers to execute their duties, we cover both Acholi west Nile and Lango but our small office space is small for the usage numbers of the clients who come to seek our services”.

The number of applicants for passports has greatly increased. Daily Gulu passport centre received 120 to 150 applicants according to information from Ameny.

The officers at the directorates of citizenship and immigration control are optimistic that if the building is completed, the services will be offered to the citizens as easily as possible.

Ameny however commences his junior officer for working tirelessly to serve the population amidst dwindling resources.
Charles Coward Okello, the construction appealed to the ministry of internal affairs to release the budget on time so that the project does not stall.

The Archbishop of Gulu archdiocese His Grace Dr. John Baptist Odama who attended the ground breaking ceremony appreciated the government for bringing services closer to the citizens, he however recommended for cooperation, peace, unity business and work for humanity.

“In the past we could not gather peacefully, my diocese was a no go area now that we have peace in our community let work to protect the peace”.

Jane Frances Amongin Okili the Gulu city resident commissioner said the opening of the directories of citizenship and immigration regional offices in Gulu city have  attracted many people to come to Gulu city which is currently boosting tourism business .

She however called for more investors to invest in Gulu if they want to realize profit.

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