Kwania cooperative to construct Shs 100mln warehouse

KWANIA, April 9, 2024 – Leaders of Inomo Farmers’ Agro Processors Cooperative Society Limited in Kwania district have received a sum of Shs 104 million for the construction of a new warehouse.

The money was disbursed to the Cooperative’s bank account by Uganda National Roads Authority [UNRA] towards the compensation of the former store that was pulled down during the construction of Rwekunye-Apac-Lira-Puranga road.

In 2016, Apac District Local Government leaders under Uganda Community Agricultural Infrastructure Improvement Programme [CAIF] constructed three maize mills in the sub-counties of Ibuje, Chegere and Inomo.

Inomo Maize Mill was handed over to leaders of Inomo Farmers Agro Processors’ Cooperative Society. However, the project was rendered non functional after the store was affected by the road works.

On Monday, leaders of Inomo Farmers Agro Processors’ Cooperative Society handed over the construction project of the warehouse to Robling Construction Limited.

Andrew Opio, the Chairperson Procurement Committee of the Cooperative said they decided to award the contract to Robling Construction Limited after emerging the best bidder.

“Three companies showed interests and all went under bidding processes but we decided to award the contract to Robling Construction Company upon satisfaction. They will do for us the work for a period of three months at a cost of Shs 104 million and the warehouse that will store over 1000 tonnes of maize will be handed over the Cooperative members,” he said.

Jimmy Elvis Omoko, the Community Development Officer of Inomo Sub-county who represented the Sub-county Chief at the groundbreaking ceremony on Monday warned the contractor against shoddy work.

“The kind of work you are doing should have value for money. I am requesting the contractor to ensure that the work you are doing match what is in the building plan and the bill of quantities designed by the district engineer. This will protect the name of your company and will open for you doors for more contracts,” he said.

Similarly, Mwanga Tonny Blear, Banya parish councilor emphasised the need of involving the local content in the construction project.

On his part, Robert Olinga Otolo, the Managing Director Robling Construction Company Limited pledged total commitment in executing the project.

“The contract period is three months and I am glad my boys are already on ground doing the work. Nobody should doubt us because we have handed so many projects of the similar nature. On the concerns of the local content, we have already employed workers from this area and we are buying materials from here as well, “he said.

Meanwhile, Joan Nighty Olum, Secretary Production and Marketing at Kwania District Local Government who was the chief guest at the groundbreaking ceremony warned leaders of Inomo Cooperative to disclose the funding to the members of the cooperative to cast out any doubts.

“You should declare the sum of money received from UNRA and how the fund will be utilised. People are complaining about transparency. Nobody knows the exact amount of the money the Cooperative received from UNRA not even the district commercial officer and this gap should be addressed to cast out doubts,” she said.

Abutu’s warning follows tensions that emerged between leaders, and members and members of the cooperative over the received money.

In March 2024, Inomo Subcounty LCIII Chairperson, Caroline Kule petitioned the leaders of the cooperative to halt the project demanding the unqualified accountability into the finances of the cooperative.

However, Erong Olia, Chairman of the Cooperative said the money received will be disclosed to members during the upcoming annual general meeting.

“I received the concerns but I am calling for patience from the Cooperative members. You know the rules that govern the Cooperatives prohibit us from disclosing finances anyhow.  Let them be patience finances will be declared in the forth coming Annual General Meeting,” he said.

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