UNRA to use local content as the road’s body kicks off new financial year

Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Executive Director, Allen Catherine Kagina has said the road’s body will start using local content as a way of developing Uganda. She revealed this yesterday during End of Financial Year media briefing at the authority’s offices at Nakawa.

In March 2017, PPDA issued guidelines to procurement entities for ensuring that Ugandans participate in the building of the country and to control the outflow of foreign currency. UNRA as a key implementer of large infrastructure projects is taking this guidance very seriously and therefore has immediately started implementing the guidelines. All contracts that are being let out allow for the mandatory 30% to be sub-contracted to Ugandan companies.

End of Financial Year 2016/2017 Media Briefing


The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), was established by an Act of Parliament in 2006 and commenced operations in July 2008, making 2016/17 its 9th year of service. The organisation which was established to implement Government policies and programmes for the road sector is primarily responsible for maintaining, operating and developing the National Road Network. The National Road Network which comprises 20,544km of roads, 519 bridges and 9 ferries has, since establishment of the organisation, been maintained in a fair to good condition while the paved road stock continues to increase annually.


In March 2017, the Minister of Works and Transport appointed a new Board of Directors, comprising:

Fred Jachan Omach – Chairman;

Eng. Samson Bagonza;

Eng. Dr. Umaru Bagampadde;

Dr. Joseph Muvawala;

Laban Mbulamuko;

Petra Sansa; and

Allen Kagina, Executive Director (ex-officio).

We are glad to have the full Board and we thank the Hon. Minister for taking this quick action which avoided creating a vacuum in Governance and management of the organization. The UNRA Top Management which comprises the Executive Director and 9 Directors is also fully constituted.

I now wish to provide the key highlights of the performance of the organisation for the year 2016/17, and to provide an insight to the plans for this year 2017/18.



 UNRA receives funding, for its recurrent expenditure and development from Government of Uganda (GoU) with the support of the Development Partners. This is used mainly for the design, rehabilitation and improvement of the paved roads and upgrading or construction of new roads.

In addition, UNRA receives funds from the Uganda Road Fund specifically for the maintenance and operation of the National Road Network. Below is a summary of the funds received last FY and the performance of the budget.

Summary of the Budget and Performance

Approved (Rev) Budget FY 2016/17

Cum. Releases Q1+Q2+Q3+Q4

Payments as of 29 Jun 2017

Unreleased Budget as of 29 Jun 2017

Road Development





Road Maintenance





Road Development Budget: UNRA received 86% of the revised budget that was allocated for the road network development. The shortfall in the budget release resulted in UNRA not being able to meet all payment obligations on ongoing contracts by the end of the year, which resulted in closing the year with an outstanding debt of UGX 243.5 billion. This debt has been carried over to 2017/18.

Maintenance Budget (URF): UNRA received 81% of the budget that was allocated to road maintenance which was fully utilised. A total of UGX50.8 billion was not released by the URF. On top of this disrupting and constraining progress of the road maintenance workplan, this also left UNRA with an outstanding debt of UGX 30.25 billion on the road maintenance programme by the close of the year. This obligation will have to be catered for in the new FY.

Overall, UNRA absorbed 100% of the GoU budget released for the maintenance and development of roads in 2016/17.


In 2016, management started the process of envisioning and formulating the Corporate Strategic Plan and I am happy to report that this has been successfully concluded. The process has enabled us to align the Mission and the Vision to UNRA’s business. The strategic plan will now help the organisation to stay focused on achieving them. The restructuring and the new strategy bears a big load on management to deal with the effects of fundamental changes effectively.


Stakeholder engagement remains on top of our agenda and therefore we have continued to engage with all our stakeholders at all levels throughout the year. We have been able to carry out several supervision visits on the network while at the same time engaging with the communities, project affected persons and the political and local leaders along the road. This has enabled us to communicate UNRA’s programmes more effectively and at the same time receive valuable feedback. Engagements have also been with other key stakeholders, who included the development partners and other Government institutions.


Network Planning

Management prepared a multi-year investment plan to optimise the resources in the best way possible that will be used to improve the network and create better roads for users. The summary of the established replacement costs for the National Road Network is as follows:

Current Depreciated Replacement Cost (CDRC) for the paved road network is UGX 11.5 trillion;

The Current Replacement Cost (CRC) for the paved network is UGX 14.4 trillion;

The CDRC for the unpaved road network is UGX 302 billion; and

The CRC is for the unpaved road network is US$ 670 billion.

Project Formulation

During the year, UNRA prepared a number of projects for which Government was able to secure financing from its Development Partners. These projects are:


Programme Title

Project Title



Multinational Uganda/ Rwanda

Busega – Mpigi



Multinational Uganda/ Kenya

Kapchorwa – Suam

AfDB(before Parliament)


Upgrading of Tirinyi – Pallisa – Kumi/Kamonkoli Road

Tirinyi – Pallisa – Kumi/Kamonkoli Road



Upgrading Rwenkunye – Apac – Lira – Acholibor

Rwenkunye – Apac – Lira – Acholibor Road



EDF 11

Atiak – Moyo



Upgrading Masaka – Bukakata (41KM)

Masaka – Bukakata (41KM)



Upgrading of Luwero – Butalangu

Luwero – Butalangu Road Project



Kampala Flyover Project

Kampala Flyover Project



Construction of New Bridge across River Nile (additional US$ 49.1m)

Construction of New Bridge across River Nile is already ongoing


The procurement for these projects is already underway and implementation is expected to commence within 2017/18 for all projects.

Studies & Designs Undertaken for FY 2015/16 – 2016/17 and Completed by Jun 2017


Feasibility Study and Detailed Engineering Design

  • Masodde – Nkooko – Nalweyo Road with a spur from Nkooko to Nalweyo (98Kms);


Buhimba – Kabaale swamp – Nalweyo – Kikwaya – Kakumiro road (100kms);


Atiak – Moyo – Afogi road (105km)



Preliminary designs for Critical Oil Roads

Masindi-Biiso, 54km

Masindi-Bugungu via Murchison Falls National Park, 80km;

Kaseeta – Lwera via Bugoma Forest, 16km;

Hohwa-Nyairongo-Kyarushesha- Road, 25km;

Wanseko-Bugungu Road, 23km;

Kyotera – Rakai, 20km;

Bugungu – Buliisa, 29km;

Kabale – Kiziramfumbi road, 30km;

Pakwach – Parra, 23km;

Kabwoya-Buhuka, 43km;

Karugutu-Ntoroko, 55km.

Designs for Road Rehabilitation

Fort portal – Kyenjojo Road (50Km);

Fort portal – Hima (55Kms);

Hima- Katunguru (58);

Ishaka – Katunguru (89Km).


Feasibility study for road upgrading


Kabwohe-Bwizibwera/Nsika-Ibanda-Kabujogera-mahyoro-Rwenjaza/kyambura (204Km),

Goli- Paidha-Zombo-Warr-Arua (104Km),

Lusalira-kasambya-Nkonge-Ssembabule (97Km),

Kitgum- Kidepo (115Km).

Detailed Designs for road upgrading

Dokolo- Amolatar Roads (92Km)

Kitala-Grenge (9km),

Luwero-Butalangu (29km);

Butalangu-Ngoma (54km);

Zzana-Kajjansi (5km)

Designs Preparation – Oil Roads

The Government of Uganda and its Partners through the Lake Albert Basin Development Committee (LABDC) set a target to start the production of oil by 2020. In order to achieve this target, key enabling infrastructure, such as road network, must be in place. In January 2017, Government made a decision to commence the urgent procurement of contractors to design and build 683km of roads in the oil region. UNRA is undertaking the urgent procurement with the expectation of signing commercial contracts in November 2017.

The feasibility study and preparation of the projects for the critical oil roads is being undertaken in-house. The exercise will entail preparation of preliminary designs with project cost estimates, the Environmental Social Impact Assessment and the Resettlement action Plan for managing those who are likely to be affected by the implementation of the projects. These reports will be completed by August 2017 to enable Government progress with the securing of financing from its Development Partners.

Cancelation of Key Procurements

In pursuit of economy, efficiency and transparency, UNRA adopts the most open competitive procedures for procurement of goods, works and services. Therefore the entity is committed to ensuring that the procurement procedures give fair and equal opportunity to deserving providers and that the entity gets value for money from the process. In pursuit of these objectives, it was found prudent to cancel the following procurements which were not giving effect to the expected results:


1.Civil Works for Rehabilitation of Fort- Portal- Hima Road

2.Periodic Maintenance of 6 Selected Notional Roads LOT 4: Nyakiragu- Burmaba- Kitwe Road (54KM)

3.Contract Agreement for Periodic Maintenance of 4 Lots of 234.5 Km of Selected Unpaved National Roads. Lot 04 Kabwoya-Kituti-Road (42Km)

  1. Civil Works for the Upgrading of Hoima-Butiaba-Wanseko Road from Gravel to paved (Bituminous) Standard: RETENDERED UNDER OIL ROADS


5.Dzaipi – Tete – Nimule (Bibia) Road (35Km) Lot 5 Periodic Maintenance


  1. Adjumani – Shinyanya Road (33Km) Lot 6: Periodic Maintenance



Roads Construction

In 2016/17, two road construction projects were substantially completed and 100km of roads has now been handed over to UNRA by the contractor, ready for commissioning. These are:

Upgrading of Fort Portal-Kamwenge to bituminous standard which was financed by Gou & World Bank; and

Upgrading of Ntungamo-Mirama Hills which was financed by TradeMark East Africa.

This has resulted in an increase of 0.7% to the paved road network, which now stands at 4,257km.

There are 18 ongoing projects for the upgrading of 1,143km of roads to paved bituminous standards, all at various stages of progress as shown in the Annex 1.

For the ongoing projects, the proportion of road works executed during the year, were estimated to be equivalent to a total of 310km, in terms of physical performance.

Lifting of the suspension by the World Bank: As you may have already heard, the suspension of the financing by the World Bank of two projects – Upgrading of Kyenjojo-Kabwoya road and the Tororo-Mbale-Soroti-Kamdini OPRC project was lifted on 6th June 2017 after 18 months. During this period, UNRA continued to implement the Kyenjojo-Kabwoya project using GoU funds. A process to reconcile all expenditures since then is ongoing so that Government can apply for a reimbursement of the funds spent on the project during the suspension period.

During the year UNRA took a tough decision to terminate two contracts: the upgrading of Musita-Lumino-Busia/Majanji (104km) which was behind schedule by over 70% despite several warnings; and the rehabilitation of Nakalama-Tirinyi-Mbale (102km) which was behind schedule by over 60% despite several warnings. We shall continue to sever our relationships with any contractors that are not ready to work, to save public funds;

Road Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation/reconstruction of 637km of the national roads that have reached their service life is ongoing.

Completed Bridges

Construction of the following 6 bridges has been completed in the year 2016/17 and these are ready for commissioning:

Apak Bridge in Lira district

Manafa Bridge on Tororo-Mbale road

Goli and Nyagak in Nebbi

Leresi Bridge Butaleja – Leresi – Budaka road

Kabaale Bridge (linking Kyankwanzi to Ngoma in Nakaseke)

Aswa bridge on Lira-Kitgum border

The status of all road and bridges projects showing their progress as of June 2017 is shown in Annex 1.


Routine maintenance has been carried out on the entire road network. In addition, 1,150km of the roads have had periodic maintenance. 6,700km of the network is under term maintenance.

Generally, the network has been predominantly in fair to good condition throughout the year with no major cut-offs. This has been mainly attributed to the maintenance regime and the dry season.


In addition to ensuring that the road network is well maintained, UNRA has the responsibility of ensuring that the road network is safe for the users, efficiently utilised and that the road assets are protected/preserved. Therefore a number of initiatives are continuously implemented to ensure that these objectives are obtained. In the last year, the following were undertaken:

Reclamation and Protection of the Road Reserve

On 15 May 2015, UNRA commenced an exercise of clearing road reserves beginning with Kampala-Entebbe Road.  This exercise started with evicting the market vendors at Kibuye Market who were operating from the road shoulders and the exercise is still ongoing. So far the stretch from Kibuye to Kajansi has largely been cleared and good compliance has been registered.

Enforcement of Road Safety: Operation Fika Salama

Due to the increased road accidents, UNRA, in partnership with the Uganda Police and Ministry of Works and Transport, started the “Fika Salama Operation” in August 2016. The operation started with Kampala-Masaka Road and due to its success, it has been extended to other road corridors of the country. From Kampala-Entebbe Road, the exercise will move to other roads such as Kampala-Jinja Road, Kampala-Bombo Road, Kampala-Masaka Road, Busega-Mityana Road, and Hoima Road among others.

This operation saw the number of accidents tremendously reduce on the subject road corridors. However, due to lack of resources to sustain it, the operation is being scaled down. Efforts are being made by Ministry of Works and Transport to secure funding which will support its continuation.

Ferries Operation

UNRA continued to operate the 9 ferries on the network, having added two ferries in the year: i.e. i) Zengebe-Namasale (MV Kyoga-2); and ii) Wanseko-Panyimur (MV Albert Nile-1).


Inadequate funding for road maintenance which continues to downgrade the level of service for our road network;

The unreleased budget (UGX 289 billion) affects our ability to meet our obligation to pay service providers as well as inability to complete our workplans for both development and maintenance activities perennially. This, not only compromises the quality of our service delivery, but also results in many businesses of the private sector severely suffering from the consequences of the delayed payment;

The suspension of financing by the World Bank meant that UNRA had to scale down on the GoU financed road development commitments to enable the Kyenjojo-Kabwoya road project to proceed. The continued suspension also affected our budget absorption on externally financed programmes;

Despite the budget constraints and the over-commitment, the requests and pressure to commence construction of new roads continues without funding remains a challenge. At the moment we have over 2,000km that are on the unfunded priority list.  We pray for the understanding of our stakeholders, that the workplan can only be as big as the budget and therefore implementation of these road projects will continue to be phased sequentially.

As for the improvement of roads in major towns along the national road network, UNRA makes provision for upgrading at least 2km, within the Municipal Council, that link to the project roads to be constructed or reconstructed as part of the road development programme. We hope that this will help alleviate the transport constraints within towns and improve inter-town connectivity.

Procurement process has mainly suffered from administrative reviews. At this point, I wish to appraise you on one particular procurement for the upgrading of the Rukungiri-Kihihi-Ishaha/Kanungu project, which had over-delayed and was cancelled. The decision to cancel the procurement was made to curtail the excessive disruptions caused by undue administrative reviews and the possible interference in the procurement process which was observed. However a new expedited procurement has now been initiated which we hope to conclude with signing a works contract. This has increased the need to intensify our due diligence, a process that requires time and money, but is inevitable if we are to weed out the undeserving contractors.

Interference in the Procurement process by outside lobbyists continues to be a serious problem. This is disruptive and affects the timely completion and the quality of the outcomes of our procurements. I therefore wish to give a strong warning to contractors and consultants who are in the habit of using middle-men or unscrupulous ways, in the hope of winning contracts that any evidence of engaging in corrupt practices will lead to automatic elimination from participating in any procurement by UNRA.

The continued encroachment on the road reserve and the increasing illegal roadside activities continues to undermine the functionality of the road network, and hence reduce the safety and level of service of the roads;

Contract implementation continues to suffer from poor contract performance. Many of our contracts have suffered slow progress. Ongoing development and maintenance contracts were terminated in the year. UNRA will not hesitate to terminate more poor performing contractors and consultants in order to ensure that all projects are put back on track.

Although UNRA has made significant strides in improving the Management of Social Safeguards, we have continued to register some cases of poor treatment of workers on site and child abuse. UNRA continues to work tirelessly to ensure that implementation of projects leaves as little as possible negative effect on the communities.

Corruption is still a challenge especially at the weighbridges. In collaboration with the UNRA Investigations and Compliance Team, all corruption cases are investigated thoroughly and the involved staff are dealt with accordingly.

Maintenance Stations are operating old equipment which is at more than 50% below the desired capacity. This inhibits teams’ ability to manage cut-offs during emergencies

 PLANS FOR 2017/18


For this FY 2017/18, UNRA has been appropriated a total budget of UGX 3.89 trillion, having increased it by UGX 1.2 trillion to enable Government to acquire land, design and commence the construction of roads in the Albertine region which are urgently needed to facilitate the production of oil by 2020.

Summary of UNRA Budget for 2017/18 (UGX ‘000)


GoU Financing


Ext. Financing


% of Total Budget

Budget Shortfall


Recurrent (Wage & Non-wage)







*Road Development








Network Maintenance & Operation














*Incl. additional UGX 1.2trn for Land Acqn and construction of the Critical Oil Roads

Debts carried Forward

The total outstanding debt on the Vote at the close of the year was UGX 243.5 for the development budget and UGX 30.1 for the maintenance budget. This means that the budget for the year 2017/18 is short by the same amount, significantly reducing the expected physical output for the road maintenance and development programme.

Budget Shortfall

Basing on the outstanding obligations and the current commitments on ongoing projects, the required budget estimate versus the appropriation has resulted in a budget shortfall of approximately UGX 700 billion for development and UGX 280 billion for road maintenance. This is in addition to UNRA’s increasing operational costs for effective supervision of all its programmes yet the budget is not increasing. This shortfall exposes the Government programmes to possible poor quality due to inadequate supervision and possible loss of funds through claims and inability to derive full value for money from the investment. In order to control this exposure and for more effective supervision and utilisation of resources, UNRA is doing everything possible to optimise the available resources on the ongoing projects. Therefore the budget has been prioritised as follows:

Payment of outstanding debts carried over from the last FY;

Continue with implementation of the ongoing projects to minimise disruption due to lack of funds;

Meeting Government commitments to provide counterpart funding for the projects which are benefitting from external financing, especially land acquisition; and

Undertaking feasibility studies and preparation of designs for the projects to be implemented in the medium to long term period.


Road Construction

In this FY, we hope to achieve 400 km equivalent, in terms of physical progress on ongoing civil works. Seven (7) roads will be substantially completed, adding 264km to the paved road network. These are:

Mbarara Bypass (41.66), now at 73% progress;

Kampala-Entebbe Express Highway (49.56), now at 82% progress

Civil works commenced in Dec 2012 and originally scheduled to be completed by May 2018. The project has suffered from delays in acquisition of land to enable the contractor progress as scheduled.

Rushere-Nswerenkye (11.1km)

Mukono-Kyetume-Katosi/Nyenga (74km)

Gulu-Acholibur (87.4)

We are currently implementing 20 road development (new construction and upgrading from paved bituminous standards) projects totalling 1,400km as shown in the Annex.

Project Preparation and Procurement is ongoing for the following externally financed projects, expected to commence this FY:

Upgrading of Tirinyi-Pallisa/Pallisa-Kamonkoli Road (93km) by IsDB

Muyembe – Nakapiripirit (92km) by IsDB

Masaka – Bukakata (41km) by BADEA

Upgrading of Kapchorwa-Suam (73km) by AfDB

Procurement commenced. We hope to have a contract signed by Dec 2017 and the contractor commence works by Jan 2018.

Rukungiri-Kihihi-Ishasha/Kanungu (78.5km) by AfDB

Construction of a new Kampala-Jinja Highway (77km)

The project has been earmarked and appraised as a candidate PPP project. A Transaction Advisor (IFC) is on board and is assessing its viability before it can be tendered as PPP project later this year. Land acquisition remains a major risk to the success of this project. Compensation of PAPs on Southern Bypass commenced in March 2017 and will continue to the rest of the project throughout this year. We therefore appeal to the public and all stakeholders to ensure that this process is completed smoothly and effectively to avoid costly the delays to the project.

Road Maintenance

We are rehabilitating 14 paved roads totalling 750km to restore their serviceability. UNRA will complete the rehabilitation of 150km of the paved national road network.

Annex 2 and 3 show the workplans, containing the


Performance management

Starting this year 2017/18, UNRA will be implementing its new Corporate Strategic Plan, to enable the entire organisation manage and measure its performance in a more systematic way and to ensure that all the customers and stakeholders are satisfied.

Planning and Budget Optimisation

In order not to spread the available resources thinly, we continue to delay the commencement of new GoU financed projects until financing is freed up from within the budget; paying off outstanding debts, sequentially completing the ongoing projects or when new financing is made available within the framework, e.g. the Oil roads. The GoU counterpart funding for the externally financed projects will be given priority to ensure that the loans are effectively disbursed as planned without delays. This will help us to reduce wastage of the scarce resources through payment of interest, delays in project implementation and claims.

Capacity Building

Management has prioritised capacity building programmes to enable the newly recruited staff acquire the skills, equipment and the technology that is required to deliver the road development and maintenance programme. Procurement and quality assurance systems will be prioritised.

Initiatives to improve contracts performance

UNRA reviewed all its contracts and has put in place processes and procedures that will result in well performing contracts. These include reviewing and improving contract documents, undertaking due diligence before contract award and more effective monitoring to ensure compliance during implementation. Providers that will not comply will be sanctioned or dismissed with repercussions of affecting their ability to participate in new procurements in future.

Social Safeguards Management

Through the distressful times of the cancelation and suspensions, we have learnt a lot of lessons from the implementation of projects supported by the Development Partners, who have been able to guide and shape the management of projects they finance.  UNRA projects lacked a formal Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) to allow for continued participation of affected persons and redress of their grievances. Efforts have now been put in place to improve Safety, Gender-based Violence and Child Protection continues to be put in place. As a result of these efforts, new initiatives to improve the management of social safeguards are now implemented on all our projects and not just the donor financed. These include:

Development of an Environment and Social Management System

Increased collaboration with relevant Government and Non-Governmental entities

Enhancement of Safety and Health management programs

Enhancement of social risks management on projects

Institution of Grievance Management Mechanism

Local content

In March 2017, PPDA issued guidelines to procurement entities for ensuring that Ugandans participate in the building of the country and to control the outflow of foreign currency. UNRA as a key implementer of large infrastructure projects is taking this guidance very seriously and therefore has immediately started implementing the guidelines. All contracts that are being let out allow for the mandatory 30% to be sub-contracted to Ugandan companies.

 I thank you!

 Allen Catherine Kagina

 Executive Director.

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