AMOLATAR – Residents in Amolatar district have had mixed reactions to the failure of the Amolatar district local government to use Shs 2.3 billion in the financial year 2020/2021.
Public Finance Management Act 2015 Section 17 (2) stipulates that a local government vote that does not spend money that was appropriated to the vote for the financial year shall at the close of the financial year, repay the money to the Consolidated Fund.
Amolatar returned Shs 2.3 billion, part of Shs 1.2 billion meant for construction projects at Biko Health Center III in Namasale Town Council and Awonangiro Health Center III in Agikdak Sub County.
Part of the money was meant for salaries of secondary school teachers that were not recruited and other civil servants whose recruitment had issues delaying their appointment letter issuance.
Meanwhile, Shs 300 million was meant for construction works at Ryan Seed Secondary School in Etam Town Council.
Henry Ddamba, the Amolatar Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) confirmed returning the funds to the consolidated fund, attributing it to delays in the procurement process and late release of funds by the central government.
“As a district, we returned to the treasury a total of Shs 2.3 billion and that is not a good statistic because these funds are supposed to be given to us to spend but we didn’t and the challenge has been the delay in procurement process,” he said.
Returning the funds to the consolidated fund has drawn mixed reactions. Nelson Kinyera, a resident of Nalibwoyo village in Namasale Sub County, expressed disappointment upon returning the fund.
Kinyera noted that a number of health facilities are operating on rundown structures at the expense of incompetent leaders who can not utilize government money within the given time frame.
“It’s not the first time Amolatar is returning money to the treasury, this is the third time in a row that we are seeing money being returned to the consolidated fund at the expense of the service delivery gaps in the community,” he noted.
Another resident Mariam Yusufu of Apalipe cell in Amolatar town council blames the failure to use the fund to `kickback’ demands from contractors by the procurement teams.
She says cases of child maternal deaths are surging in the community and urged the district leaders to take steps to end this trend.
Interviewed by theCooperator on Thursday, Amolatar District Chairman Geoffrey Ocen, lashed out at the contractor that was given the contract to rehabilitate health facilities for being incompetent.
“The problem is that the contractor awarded the project is undertaking quite a number of projects that overwhelms his efforts; I will ensure the same scenario doesn’t repeat itself for effective service delivery,” he said in an interview.
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