EALA passes Supplementary Budget of USD 4.9 million to meet additional expenditure
East African Legislative Assembly, Arusha, February 27th 2020: The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has approved the East African Community’s Supplementary Budget of USD 4,977,475 for the Financial Year ending 30th June 2020, to fund its additional expenditure for priority projects and programmes, that were hitherto, unfunded.
Chair of the EAC Council of Ministers, Hon Olivier Nduhungirehe tabled the EAC Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2020, that was enacted, sailing through the House after debate and without amendment(s).
In his submissions, the Chair of the General-Purpose Committee, Hon Abdikadir Aden, said the projects and activities to be supplemented during the Financial Year include an additional expenditure for the EAC Secretariat pegged at USD 3,477,545.
The amount is to support a number of activities that include a study for Sustainable Funding Mechanism (USD 120,000), facilitation of delegates from Republics of South Sudan and Burundi, not funded by Development Partners (USD 17,000), repair-works at EAC headquarters (USD 305,000), drafting of an EAC Political Confederation Constitution (USD 150,000) and improving collaborative conservation and management of Trans Boundary Natural Resources in the EAC (USD 344,770).
Other activities for support are geared towards the development of a Regional Policy on Wildlife Conservation and Management, (USD 155,420), detailed Architectural and Engineering Design of the Mugina/Manyovu One-Stop-Border- Post, (USD 480,000) and for the validation of the draft 6th EAC Development Strategy (2021/2022 to 2025/2026)– USD 41,400. A bulk of the amount (USD 1,863,955) is to be used for Financial Sector Development and Regionalization Project.
On its part, the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO) is requesting for USD 69,566 to aid two key projects; development of the EAC-Regional Policy for Science, Technology and Innovation (USD 27,808) and the development of the Online Observatory Platform on Bio economy Resource Sharing (USD 41,758).
LVBC is requesting for additional appropriation of USD 1,125,984 to aid the construction of its Headquarter (USD 942,144) and for the project on the Planning for Resilience in East Africa through Policy, Adaption, Research and Economic Development (PREPARED) pegged at USD 183,840. At the EAC Competitions Authority, an extra amount of USD 59,470 is to be expended towards instituting amendments to the EAC Competition Regulations 2010 and EAC Competition Act 2006.
The Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) meanwhile seeks USD 178,710 for the 2nd phase of the Headquarters construction. In his remarks, Hon Aden stated that the supplementary budget was subjected on the anticipation that Partner States will honour their financial obligations. He therefore urged the Secretariat and the Council of Ministers to further engage with the Partner States to honour their statutory obligations to the EAC Budget for FY 2019/2020.
The debate was supported by Hon Wanjiku Muhia, Hon Gideon Gatpan Thoar, Hon Kennedy Mukulia, Hon Wanjiku Muhia, Hon Rose Akol, Hon Kasamba Mathias, Hon Dr Oburu Oginga, Hon George Odongo.
Hon Thomas Dut, Hon Francoise Umuwukiza, Hon Paul Musamali, also supported the Bill. Hon Susan Nakawuki, however, opposed the Bill stating that majority of the issues stated for additional expenditure were not warranted. “I also need the assurance that we are not handling a post-mortem, where the money is already expended”, the legislator stated.
The Member also said there were a number of studies undertaken on Sustainable Funding Mechanism and there was no need to disburse additional resources on the matter.
The Chair of Council of Ministers in response said reforms of the structures as concerns staffing and the completion of the Sustainable funding Mechanism would be speeded up. He further stated Council was concerned by the low remittances which stand at 61% of the total amount with few months remaining to the end of the Financial Year. The Minister commended the Republic of Uganda for availing additional resources to support the drafting of the Political Confederation Constitution.
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About the East African Legislative Assembly:
The East African Legislative Assembly is the Legislative Organ of the East African Community. Its Membership consists of a total of 62, of whom 54 are elected Members (9 from each Partner State) and eight ex-officio members (the Ministers responsible for EAC Affairs from the Partner States, the Secretary General of the Community and the Counsel to the Community).
The East African Legislative Assembly has legislative functions as well as oversight of all East African Community matters. The enactment of legislation of the Community is put in effect by means of Bills passed by the Assembly and assented to by the Heads of State, and every Bill that has been duly passed and assented to become an Act of the Community and takes precedent over similar legislations in the Partner States. EALA has to date passed more than 80 pieces of legislation.