Government will embrace technology to track corruption tendencies by 2023

MBARARA – The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Dr Ramathan Ggoobi has said government agencies and ministries will embrace technology to track corruption tendencies.

Dr Ggoobi made these remarks while closing a two-day National Investment Symposium held at Kakyeka Stadium in Mbarara City.

He further said, automating government processes is meant to track the tax payers’ money and ensure that the money collected is put to proper use.

“Beginning next year, rationalization of government is going to take shape because we want to emphasize the efficiency of government,” says Ggoobi.

“When you pay tax, where is it going? The revenue we collect, what is it doing? So, the government took a decision to rationalize itself to improve on the way it does business, the results government needs and how it accounts for the resources that you give us,” he added.

In this regard, Dr Ggoobi says his docket is designing an e-procurement system to reduce inefficiencies in government offices.

“We are working on e-government procurement modernity and by next year about 50 of the central government ministries, departments and agencies are going to be procured online to reduce the inefficiencies we see in government,” the PS emphasized.

Dr. Ggoobi also said, the modernity being fine-tuned to be implemented in 2023 will procure in the same way WhatsApp groups does it on social media.

“With a WhatsApp group, if we could get its mirror image in our procurement that the firms which are bidding for government projects can be seen transparently on a computer and the business they are doing instead of going in small rooms to meet certain people where they give bribes, we are likely to reduce on corruption tendencies,” the PS explained.

“Ministry will start e-monitoring of schools and health centres across the country to protect the government drugs from being stolen,” said Dr. Ngoobi.

“We have also developed a platform to implement the e-monitoring of schools and health centres which some people have not been doing effectively of inspecting and monitoring teachers.

“If we have children in the school and we have a number of teachers, how are they being monitored to ensure that they offer the service they are paid to offer. So, we are introducing a system which is going to be monitoring the learners as well as the teachers and also monitoring the health centres across the country to ensure that medicine and other equipment which government buys are not stolen.”

Dr Ggoobi is also optimistic that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) lost by 3% during Covid-19 pandemic since 2020 will recover by the year 2023/24 through different stimulus packages the government is committed to providing.

“We are implementing a stimulus package to boost aggregate demand and also support businesses to restart and recover. A total of Shs 260 billion have been deployed through Emyooga as well as Shs 77billion through SACCOs targeting the financially excluded vulnerable groups and active poor through Microfinance Support Centre,” he said.

“We have lost nearly 3% of GDP growth in each of the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic which is projected to grow at 3.8% by June this year. The economy is destined to recover its free pandemic growth of above 6% beginning 2023/24,” the PS added.

Prof Elijah Mushemeza, MP Sheema North Constituency also challenged the government to focus on local industries and processors to empower the forthcoming Parish Development Model (PDM) program.

“With the mobilization we are doing in the parish model, if we are not careful, people are going to surprise us with commodities and we shall have no market but if they are processed, they can be kept for some time,” Mushemeza said.

“In our opinion, Ankole is at a stage where there is serious production and with little processing, it will increase our incomes. We require more than four banana processing plants,” he added.

The Uganda Investment Symposium concept was launched in 2019 with an inaugural symposium held in the West Nile region and a subsequent one held in the Rwenzori sub-region.

This year’s national symposium was organized by Uganda Development Bank Limited (UDBL) in partnership with Operation Wealth Creation (OWC).

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