May 29, 2024

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Gov’t agencies, private entities & religious institutions in trouble over unpaid ubc debt

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Hundreds of Government agencies, private entities and religious institutions are in trouble over unpaid debt owed to Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC).

The debt reportedly amounting close to 300 billion shillings has accumulated over a period of 10 years starting from 2011 to 2020 for Airtime, adverts and announcements. 

This was disclosed by Peter Ogwang the State Minister for Information Communication Technology (ICT), who said he has called for a meeting to get a full list of all agencies indebted to UBC, engage Government entities and ask them why they are not paying their debts, while private entities will also be engaged and tasked to pay their debt.

Ogwang was speaking after an engagement with the committee of ICT on Wednesday where he presented the Ministerial policy statement of the Ministry.  He says at a time when UBC is struggling financially with no money allocated to it for the next financial year, these entities which benefited from UBC service should be able to pay, or they may face legal action.

The list a copy which Uganda radio Network (URN) has seen has over 1000 entities and individuals.

Some of the Government agencies are; Ministry of Information and National Guidance 460 million, Civil Aviation Authority who owe up to 14 million shillings for Airtime and adverts, Uganda Land Commission with 826,000 shillings, Ministry of East African Affairs 3.4 million, Office of the Prime Minister 26  million, Ministry of Finance 9.4 million  and Ministry of Water and Environment 41 million among others.   

Others under different institutions are; Rubaga Miracle Centre 1.8 million, Mbale Church of Christ 600,000 shillings, Restoration power church Nansana 7.2, Panther Uganda Limited 2.4 million shillings, Betcity Uganda limited 54 million, Select Garments 13 million, Beera Nga Mwesgwa 10 million, FBN Herbalists 14 million, Lowe Scanad 22 million, Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Program 2.7 million among others.   

Some of the individuals include; Martin Drito, the former MP Madi-Okollo 5 million, Sheikh Abdu Karim 28 million, Senga Roza 150,000 shillings among others.  

Paul Amoru, the ICT committee chairperson says that it is very appalling that at a time UBC is struggling, those who accessed services have not met their obligations. He says they will scrutinize the list, and ensure that the list has all debtors. He says apart from naming and shaming these debtors, they will be compelled to pay UBC unless otherwise.

Meanwhile the ICT Ministry has also appealed that since the sector collects huge revenue, part of this should be returned back to them since ICT is now the new phenomenon. Peter Ogwang says currently all entities under the ICT including Posta Uganda, Uganda Communications commission (UCC) and UBC are underfunded. He says they need at least 200 billion for the entities to operate perfectly. 

URN has learnt that in some cases of failure to pay the debt, documentation was lacking, there were no Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs), and closure of some projects among others.

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