The President has banned the foreign travel of Members of Parliament and senior civil servants in the latest move to save the government from huge expenditures. The savings from the foreign trips will be used to fund other areas of the government.
He issued the directive while commissioning new structures at the Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba (UPIK) in western Uganda on January 14th ,2023.
“Some of them just want money to travel abroad. Tell the civil servants, MPs, and all politicians to stop traveling abroad. Money is wasted on external travel, and here Kigumba is crying out for money. This is really poor planning,” said President Museveni.
The president was also concerned about the inadequate funding provided to the institute by the Ministry of Finance.
The principal of UPIK, Bernard Ongondia, informed the president about the Finance Ministry’s delay in providing funding for the extension of the ICT fiber network to cover the entire institution, the purchase of other equipment, and the need for fencing, a borehole, and staff housing, among other things.
“Your excellency, we believe that if all the above challenges are addressed, our quest to become a global reference institute for oil and gas training will be realized,” said Ongondia.
In his response, the president pledged to ensure the Ministry of Finance delivered all the required funds to make UPIK a fully-fledged institute ahead of oil exploration.
“We shall find funds for staff housing, an ICT lab, and a fence. You said you’re staying outside because the hyenas are coming, and we’ll find out one day that the hyena has kidnapped one of the students. How shall we explain this? No please. What is the money needed? We shall look for it. Because this is the only project we have in this country,” he said.
The UPIK is a government-owned institution established in 2009 to serve as the national center for research, training, and consultancy in the fields of petroleum exploration, recovery, refinement, and responsible utilization as Uganda gears up to begin commercial oil exploration in 2025.