Posts tagged as: budget

Debt Burden Mounts as Treasury Borrows Sh430 Billion in 5 Months

By Edwin Mutai

Kenya borrowed Sh430.6 billion in the five months to June, highlighting the Jubilee administration’s appetite for foreign money to finance mega infrastructure projects.

The Treasury signed a total of 29 new loans involving bilateral, multilateral and commercial creditors.

“The proceeds from all the facilities (Sh430.6 billion) are expected to finance development projects to achieve the country’s development agenda,” said Treasury secretary Henry Rotich in a report to Parliament on all new loans contracted by the government from February 1 to June 30, 2017.

“The funds are mainly to fund infrastructure projects including roads, irrigated water and water supply, energy, health and education.”

Kenya has ramped up spending in recent years to build a modern railway, new roads and electricity plants, driving up the budget deficit.

The World Bank recently warned that the country’s growing appetite for loans, especially Chinese debt, risks hurting the economy.

The country contracted Sh146.9 billion syndicated loan facilities from Citi Bank and PTA Bank for budgetary support in funding of infrastructure development.

Mr Rotich said majority of the creditors are bilateral while others are multilateral and commercial.

The report, tabled by the National Assembly Leader of Majority Aden Duale, shows that out of the Sh430.6 billion of the new loans, Sh156 billion from two commercial creditors have been disbursed.

The Sh156 billion was secured from PTA Bank and a consortium of lenders comprising Standard Chartered Bank, Citi Bank and Rand Merchant Bank.

Kenya

Duale to Seek MPs Approval of Sh11.5 Billion for Poll

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale says he will be requesting MPs to approve the release of Sh11.5… Read more »

Safe Motherhood Now Gets Sh32bn

By Alawi Masare

Dodoma — Members of Parliament on Wednesday showed their joy as the government announced doubling the budget for safe motherhood to Sh32 billion in the current financial year.

Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children minister Ummy Mwalimu said the move was aimed at improving service provision during delivery.

Ms Mwalimu was speaking during a seminar of Safe Motherhood Club whose members are lawmakers.

The workshop was organised by The White Ribbon Alliance which advocates for safe motherhood by ensuring availability of proper services in hospitals, health centres and dispensaries.

“Currently, we have 120 centres that provide operation services during delivery and the plan is to add 150 more in the next phase,” she said.

“We have blood banks in 7 regions and five other regions are in the pipeline. We will also secure an employment permit for health workers before October,” she added.

For her part, White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood coordinator Rose Mlay said they wanted to ensure money allocated for safe delivery was spent on the intended activity.

“Our advocacy also wants to ensure the money reaches hospitals in time,” she said.

The government has a new financing modality where some money for operational activities will be going directly to hospitals, health centres and dispensaries.

But Mr Juma Nkamia alerted that it should be handled carefully as some dispensaries did not have enough personnel.

“In some dispensaries, like in Chemba constituency, you find only a nurse who does not have even financial skills,” he said.

“This should be managed carefully to avoid misuse,” he added.

Many MPs were happy with the budget increase saying it was one of the achievements of their club.

“This is a great achievement and we should keep up helping our communities in ensuring safe motherhood,” said Ms Jenista Mhagama who is the chairman of the club.

Tanzania

Country Is Secure, Peaceful – Prime Minister

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has assured Tanzanians that the country remains peaceful and warned against anyone who… Read more »

Ethiopia: City Plans 730 Million Br to Implement Road Safety Strategy

The Addis Ababa Road Safety Council (AARSC) has proposed to allocate 730.3 million Br for the reduction of road traffic crashes by half in 2023. The strategy was launched on September 6, 2017, at Sheraton Addis Hotel. A large chunk of the budget, amounting to around half a billion Birr, is allocated for improving the city’s traffic data management and post-crash response systems.

The strategy gives priority to pedestrians, which accounts for 70pc of the gross population of the city, who are exposed to road crashes and injuries, according to the study. The road safety strategy has identified six areas for implementation.

The Council, composed of 11 governmental institutions, developed the strategy and the implementation plan during the recently ended fiscal year. The budget for the program will be allocated by the members of the council based on the procedure stated in the strategy.

Ethiopia

Peace Accord Leads to Thriving Trade on Kenya-Ethiopia Border

Trade has been good for Timiro Hussein in Moyale Town after law and order returned a few years ago. Read more »

South Africa: National Airline Remains Albatross Around Finance Minister’s Neck

By Mariaane Merten

Amid the political noise of the ANC elective contests towards its December national conference, and the general state of disruption in South Africa’s politics, it’s difficult to keep eyes on what matters – the national coffers. Regardless of who wins the ANC party presidency that traditionally has led to the Union Buildings, what matters is the state of the national purse. Details will emerge in October’s Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement. But government’s wiggle room is constrained not only of a multibillion-rand bailout for SAA and other state-owned entities (SOEs), but potentially also another year of dipping tax revenue.

For SAA and the finance ministry, 2017 is a re-run of 2015. Two years ago the national carrier was unable to submit its annual financial statements to Parliament as required because it could not complete the financials because it could not balance the books. This came despite the bailout of R6.5-billion it had received in January 2015, which had raised the total government guarantees to R14.4-billion.

Two previous finance ministers, Nhlanhla Nene and Pravin Gordhan, had to ask National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete for several extensions to SAA’s submissions of its financials. This only happened after a further R4.7-billion…

South Africa

Funds Raised for Mother Charged With Stabbing Daughter’s Rapists

South Africans have rallied behind a mother who was charged with stabbing a man to death, and injuring two others, after… Read more »

Zimbabwe: Grain Marketing Board Threatens Private Millers

The Grain Marketing Board’s commercial milling division is threatening the viability of private millers amid revelations the parastatal is not paying for grain drawn from the strategic reserves. In a financial advisory note to the Government, the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe said access to grain at no cost by the national granary has resulted in GMB charging sub-economic prices for their products, hurting operations of private millers.

This corroborates what Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said in the 2017 National Budget that the commercial milling by the GMB had created an uneven playing field in the milling industry as the parastatal was not making payments to Treasury for maize drawn from the strategic reserve.

The GMAZ said if this continued, private millers would go out of business.

“The fact that GMB runs toll milling and access the maize at no cost gives it an unfair advantage over private millers,” said GMAZ.

“While Government pays for maize delivered to GMB by farmers, GMB does not make any corresponding payment to the Treasury.

“It is our argument that the current commercial activities model has given GMB an unfair advantage over private millers as it has unfettered access to the strategic grain reserve.

“This has given GMB an edge over other millers as they can afford to set uneconomic prices for their products. Furthermore, GMB can afford to comfortably operate at a loss to the disadvantage of the private milling sector due to lack of controls on GMB’s access to maize from the strategic grain reserve.”

No comment could be obtained from the Grain Marketing Board by the time of going to print yesterday.

According to GMAZ, the GMB has managed to raise its market share to 37 percent and may continue growing it, and in the process, eliminating several private maize millers.

In the 2014 /15 season, the Government paid $26,5 million for 68 000 tonnes delivered while $83 million was paid last year. Minister Chinamasa said while the Government was paying for the grain, GMB was utilising part of the maize for commercial milling without paying the Treasury.

“This practice has created an uneven playing field in the milling industry from the perspective of millers who now bemoan that they are being driven out of the business,” said Minister Chinamasa.

“This unfair competition hurts more where some millers would have gone into contract farming in the value chain. Government will require GMB to fully pay for the grain drawn from the strategic grain reserve for its commercial activities,” he added.

Zimbabwe

UN Pledges to Support Mugabe Govt Programmes

The United Nations has said it will continue to work with the Government to spearhead several development programmes in… Read more »

South Africa: Clean Audit for Mineral Resources Department

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has welcomed the Auditor-General’s clean audit opinion for his department and three of its entities for the 2016/17 financial year.

“The outcome of this report is a reflection of the hard work and concerted efforts by the department’s officials and those in its entities.

“We will continue to do the necessary work, in line with the Public Finance Management Act, to ensure that the department and entities in its portfolio use our limited budget allocation efficiently and effectively to deliver on our mandate to the people of South Africa,” Minister Zwane said in a statement on Monday.

The Minister’s comments followed a meeting with the office of the Auditor-General on the department’s performance in the previous financial year.

The office of the AG acknowledged the department’s improvement from a qualified audit opinion in 2012/13 to a clean audit in 2016/17 – with no incidents of unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

The department spent 99.5% of the budget allocated for the 2016/17 financial year.

The department further paid its suppliers within 12 days on average.

South Africa

Black Ownership On SA’s Stock Exchange – What We Know

Black participation in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange continues to be the topic of heated debate in South Africa. This… Read more »

Maxcom Impresses Parliament Committee

By Deogratius Kamagi

Dar es Salaam — The automated fare collection system at the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project which is operated by a local based financial firm, Maxcom, has impressed the Parliamentary Budget Committee.

The committee paid a courtesy visit at the BRT project on August 28 to oversee general operation as well as payment procedures at Kivukoni station.

Speaking during the visit, the committees’ chairperson, Ms Hawa Ghasia, said they were satisfied with services offered by the local financial firm and urged for a total support from the members of the public.

The system, according to her, has drastically reduced the use of hard cash, thus easing transportation and cash handling.

The firm, among others, operates payments on various companies and it has helped to ease the government’s tax collection through Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).

“With their services, things have become easier as they provides a link between clients and the service providers,” she said.

For his part, the Maxcom Director General, Mr Jameson Kasati, acknowledged the Tanzanians’ support that according to him has to great extent helped them to extend their wings to neighbouring countries such as Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

About the complaints on the shortfall of dart smart cards, the agency boss said plans were underway to solve the problem.

He said so far Maxcom has sold 200,000 cards since the start of the project and they have already communicated with their agent who was contracted to supply the cards.

“It’s true that the cards aren’t available at our sales points. We are finalising procurement procedures with our agents. We are optimistic that the system will start soon,” he said.

The cards shortage has caused passenger queues at the Dart terminals waiting for tickets, posing a challenge in the service delivery.

Dart project has five terminals, four feeder stations, three connector stations, three pedestrian bridges, 27 stations, one bus depot at Jangwani and 21 kilometres of bus ways.

Tanzania

New Ticketing System Curbs Fraud on Rapid Transport System

Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit (Dart) project operators have managed to curb fare-related fraud and revenue loss thanks to… Read more »

Nema to Ensure Compliance With Plastic Bags Ban

By Kennedy Kangethe

Nairobi — The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has kicked off an operation countrywide to ascertain if retailers and manufacturers have adhered to the plastic bags ban that took effect Sunday midnight.

NEMA officials in collaboration with police officers inspected retail shops and manufacturers in Nairobi to establish if they had complied with the ban.

NEMA Director General Geoffrey Wahungu said they have stationed enforcement teams throughout the country.

“This is more of an awareness campaign that will last a week; we want to inspect how manufacturers, retailers, and businesses are implementing the ban,” Wahungu told Capital FM News.

NEMA officials will also take the opportunity to create more awareness and clarify matters arising from the ban.

“Those who are still using plastic paper bags will go off with a warning for just today,” said Wahungu clarifying that county governments will be responsible for ensuring compliance by consumers and other businesses in various counties.

“Those who still have plastic bags will have to sign a declaration form where they will disclose the amount of plastic bag left so that we can send the recyclers to them to collect it for recycling,” he explained.

Wahungu also said users holding plastic paper bags at home will have an opportunity to return the bags to selected retailers who have initiated a recycling program.

READ: Kenyans can return used paper bags to three supermarkets

Among the retailers are Uchumi, Tuskys and Nakumatt Supermarkets who have agreed on a take-back scheme.

“Citizens can take back the polythene bags they are holding in their houses to the bins located in these retail chains. Not all paper bags will be amenable to recycling … the really dirty ones don’t make economic sense because it takes some cost to clean them,” Wahungu said.

The Retailers Traders Association of Kenya which is in support of the ban said all major supermarkets will provide an eco-friendly bag at a small fee.

READ: Supermarkets to sell reusable paper bags for at least Sh3

The supermarkets include Naivas, Mulleys, Tuskys, Chandarana, Nakumatt, Carrefour and Cleanshelf.

Others are Saltes, QuickMart, Budget, Uchumi, EastMatt, Choppies and Tumaini.

Speaking to Capital FM News, Retrak Director and Naivas COO Willy Kimani said the eco-friendly bags will cost the retailers a bit more than the single use plastic paper bag hence the need to cost share with shoppers.

“The bags will cost us between Sh5 to Sh10 more (per bag) than what we use. We are subsidizing the cost for the benefit of the consumer,” said Kimani.

The retailers have also given consumers the option of bringing their own bags or buying the more expensive shopping bags for between Sh30 and Sh50.

Kenya

Kenyatta’s Lawyers Set to Defend His Win in Court

The hearing of the Presidential petition resumes this morning with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s lawyers defending his win. Read more »

Support BUBU Policy, Trade Minister Tells Central Bank

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

Kampala — Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde has asked Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Mutebile to support some government policies such as ‘Buy Uganda Build Uganda’ (BUBU).

BUBU is a policy geared towards promoting use of locally manufactured goods and use of local skills/personnel.

While speaking at the 12th International Private Sector Uganda Trade Expo at Lugogo on Tuesday, Ms Kyambadde said: “I am a bit disappointed – I think you need to interest yourselves (BoU) with some of the policies by government. I would like the Governor to revise this issue. BoU is supposed to be the champion of the economy and support us.”

Ms Kyambadde was responding to the Governor’s speech read for him by deputy director research David Sajjabi, in which he, for the second time, criticised the BUBU policy saying it will jeopardise Uganda’s export trade with her neighbouring states in the East African community (EAC).

Mr Sajjabi said: “The proposal for BUBU legislation would, if implemented, offer domestic producers preferential treatment on the domestic market over our EAC partners, for example, through preferential public procurements policies.”

Protectionism

According to Mr Mutebile, BUBU offers trade protection through administrative measures rather than tariffs.

“It is therefore inconsistent with the EAC customs protocol which bids any EAC partner state from undertaking any administration measures which discriminates in favour of its own producers at the expense of those of its partner states,” he added.

He said a level playing field for producers in all partner states is a fundamental principle of the Customs Union and the common market. BUBU is not consistent with this proposal.

“We therefore need to reflect on the potential and adverse repercussion of the BUBU proposal. If it is implemented BUBU will invite retaliation from other partner states why should they offer a level playing field yet Uganda is not doing the same,” he added.

The EAC market has become indispensable for Uganda’s products we can choose one but not both.

Ms Kyambadde said BUBU is not conflicting with regional exports but supports through the competition generated locally.

“What you should know is that all other partner states have restrictive public procurement policies that restrict local content globally. Even if you’re the best you will not wake up and compete,” she explained.

She added that BUBU will not retaliate because there is already an agenda to promote government procurement locally.

“BUBU is premised on the PPDA clause which -it came from a PPDA Act which talks about preference of 23 per cent which is built into a policy and then into a local content bill. Please support us,” Ms Kyambadde said.

Exports to EAC

Over the last 10 years, Uganda’s exports to other EAC member countries have risen rapidly at an average of 20 percent.

In 2016/17 fiscal year Uganda exported $1.3 billion (Shs4.6 trillion) of goods to the EAC which amounted to 41 percent of all Uganda’s total merchandise exports.

“The EAC is also our fastest exports growing market, ten years ago, it accounted for only 25 per cent of Uganda’s exports. For Uganda’s manufacture exports, the EAC is even more important accounting for 54 per cent of all Uganda’s manufactured exports in 2016,” Mr Sajjabi said.

He added that if Uganda is to develop a vibrant manufacturing export base, create employment and export earnings-exporting to the regional market is an essential first step in that development.

Providing opportunities, strengthen productivity, learning by doing and chipping in the economies of scale.

However, Mr Moses Ogwal, PSFU manager policy advocacy, said that BoU spends at least 9 per cent of the country’s GDP which equivalent to $3 billion (Shs10.8 trillion) every year to stabilise the economy.

“If this same amount is spent on supporting the local producers through BUBU, it will stabilise the economy,” Mr Ogwal note.

He said if BUBU is supported, BoU would save this money.

60 per cent of the National Budget goes in development and most of it is for construction. Out this, 90 per cent is done by foreign companies and once this money is paid, it is remitted back to the respective countries.

On the claim that BUBU will jeorpodise the EAC export market agenda, Mr Ogwal proposed that the policy be harmonised at regional level.

CNARED Still Demands Negotiations to End Crisis

By Diane Uwimana

Members of the National Council for the Respect of the Arusha Agreement and Rule of Law-CNARED have recently held a three-day meeting in Belgium. Negotiations and consolidation of the members of the board were on the agenda.

The executive board of the main opposition in exile -CNARED met in Brussels- Belgium from 14 to 16 August. Their discussion was focused on negotiations and consolidation of the executive members of the platform.

“We are convinced that only negotiations will get Burundi out of the current crisis”, says Pancrace Cimpaye, the newly appointed spokesperson for CNARED. He also says they focused on the roadmap towards the preparation for the forthcoming negotiations. “There are some pertinent elements that need to be improved for better success”, he says.

On 24 July, the Crisis Management Initiative (ICM) organized consultations that lasted two days in Finland. The meeting was held behind closed doors and attended by the CNDD-FDD delegation led by Ombudsman Edouard Nduwimana and the members of CNARED executive board. Reliable sources said the consultations in Helsinki aimed to find a way out of the crisis.

During the three day meeting, the members of the CNARED Executive board analyzed the ongoing sanctions imposed by the West. “The sanctions are still of paramount importance to force Burundi Government to engage in an inclusive dialog”, he says.

The EU sanctions began in March 2016. The European organization, whose aid accounted for 20% of the budget, decided to freeze the direct aid granted to the government of Burundi, in accordance with Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement.”As Burundi government has not yet agreed to engage in peace talks, we exhort the AU, UN and EU to continue to impose sanctions. Maybe the international community will convince Burundi government to engage in negotiations”, he says.

The spokesperson for CNARED also says the executive board of the opposition platform has been consolidated. Some changes have been made to improve and strengthen the strategies that CNARED uses.

After two years of crisis, the dialogue led by the EAC is deadlocked. Various consultations have been scheduled and a roadmap has been established for the forthcoming negotiations. While the international community has so far shown its limits, opponents in exile on their side are struggling to show that they still exist.

Burundi

Imbonerakure Students Accused of Conducting Night Patrols On Mutanga Campus

At Mutanga Campus of Burundi University, students say they are seriously beaten by imbonerakure students when they go… Read more »

Subscribe To Our Mailing List

* indicates required
/ ( mm / dd )

Featured Links

    Search Archive

    Search by Date
    Search by Category
    Search with Google
    Log in | Designed by Gabfire themes