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LIST: Museveni signs four bills into law including merger of govt agencies

Kampala, (UG):- President Yoweri Museveni signed into law four Bills that were recently passed by Parliament to merge some government agencies and optimize the use of resources.

The four enacted legislations include;- the Free Zones (Amendment) Act, 2024; the Uganda Wildlife (Amendment) Act, 2024; the National Library (Amendment) Act, 2024, and the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (Amendment) Act, 2024.

The Presidential Press Unit (PPU) in a brief statement on Friday, June 14, announced the development.

The policy for rationalisation of government agencies and public expenditure was adopted by the cabinet on February 22, 2021.

All four Bills except the National Library (Amendment) Bill were enacted and passed on April 17, 2024, by a plenary session of Parliament that was chaired by the Speaker, Anita Among.

The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (Amendment) Bill led to the amendment of the Uganda National Meteorological Authority Act, 2012 to integrate the functions of the agency into the Ministry of Water and Environment.

The debate on the authority’s rationalisation highlighted concerns about maintaining specialised expertise and ensuring effective service delivery.

While some lawmakers advocated for retaining its autonomy to preserve its specialised functions, others backed the integration into the Ministry for streamlined coordination.

The House also repealed the Uganda Export Promotions Act, Cap 102 and merged the Export Promotions Board with the Uganda Free Zones Authority, creating the Uganda Free Zone and Exports Promotions Authority.

It also passed the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre Act (Repeal) Bill 2024 and adopted the Uganda Wildlife (Amendment) Bill 2024, merging the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre with the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

The National Library (Amendment) Bill was introduced by the Government on April 9, 2024 and moved by the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Mrs. Janet Museveni.

The Policy behind this legislation, which was enacted weeks after the three Bills had been passed, is also to give effect to the Government policy for rationalisation of government agencies and public expenditure.

Museveni said on February 2, 2024, that the government would save sh1 trillion every year in rationalising its agencies. “When we talk of rationalization, we are talking of, first of all, doing things which are rational and save money,” the President said while meeting the ruling party MPs at State House, Entebbe.

He stated that during rationalization, the whole structure of the government should be geared to support the wealth creators since they are vital in the development of the country.

The spiralling cost of public administration has soared from a little over sh465b in the 2001/2002 financial year to now sh3 trillion.

The permanent secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Ramathan Ggoobi, also said in February this year that they needed to downsize the government because it had become too big to run.

“We need to cut this fat on the government. The government has become too big. We are spending a lot of money on running the government,” he said during a morning talk show on one of the local television stations in Kampala. 

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