Arua city earmarks shs5.5bn for modern multipurpose resource center

Arua city earmarks shs5.5bn for modern multipurpose resource center

By Andrew Cohen Amvesi

ARUA. Arua city authorities have earmarked shs5.5bn for the construction of a modern multipurpose resource center.

Nyakua stresses a point as Jobile (L) and Omona (R) look on during the press conference on Tuesday. Photo by Andrew Cohen Amvesi

Upon completion, officials said the resource center will help in enhancing the local revenue base of the city.

Speaking during the first monthly press briefing organized by the city communications office at the city headquarters on Tuesday, Eng. Charles Omona, the Arua city Engineer said of the shs5.5bn, shs1.2bn will come from donors while the rest will be covered by the city and other partners.

“Where we are, we have completed architectural design which we are sharing with the donor and we have also done the 3D images, we have done some animations and we have a rough cost of the bill of quantity (BOQ). We have a total estimated BOQ now up to shs5.5bn and the donor commits about shs1.2bn, so that means we have a funding deficit of about shs4.3bn,” Omona said.

“The question is how can we fill the funding gap? This is a project that has been designed in such a way that it has to attract different investors from the private sector to be putting in their money and they would receive dividends at the end through some memorandum of understanding with the city and that will be advertised to attract the different investors,” Omona explained.

Omona noted that the resource center will be a three-floor structure with clustered business aspects on different floors.

“So, what we have done is to consolidate most of the businesses within the ground floor. Just to mention a few; we have the banking service, we have shops probably about 14, we have two offices, we shall have a café and in this facility, we shall also have provisions where you have some computer center, you have some stationery, you have some restaurant and you have a pharmacy, you have some toilets because that is a facility that will be used by a number of people and may be some private rooms for the mothers who will use the facility and we will provide a ramp that will traverse through the floors until the roof top,” Omona explained.

He said they have also provided for an access staircase for emergencies and a lift inside the building that can take one from one point to the other.

“Then the first flow is designated for a library. This library will have an interior design that befits the modern design of a library, and will accommodate a section for the children library. We have a section for the adult library that breaks down into the primary, secondary, tertiary sections and others. On the second flow, we shall have a component that will accommodate 250 to 300 people and a skilling center to be able to provide skills to different people and then up will be offices and on that floor, we have provided an open office where an interested occupant will try to partition it in a way that suits their needs,” Omona said.

“Then on the top most, we want to try to design in such a way that it becomes a leisure area. We will have some shed to protect the users from the weather effect but will have some café there, some restaurants there then we will have a greening section and this is where you will have the best view of the city. So, that is the comprehensive picture of what we call a multipurpose resource center,” Omona emphasized.

Cornelius Jobile, the Arua Deputy City Clerk said the initially earmarked site for the multipurpose resource center had problems.

He, however, observed that it is within the armpit of the law that once there is a contention over a particular issue, the status-quo must remain.

“So, we have our land available adjacent to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM). We have taken a decision to relocate this project on that land. So, it will sit on part of that land. Whatever technical details the Engineer has given you will all be done there and anytime soon once we are done with the design issues, the donor is committing something that is little but we are looking at a futuristic structure and so, currently we are trying to engage with the ministry of finance to get on board the private sector to also give us their contribution so that whatever the donor has contributed and with whatever we have contributed, we shall be able to realize this structure,” Jobile remarked.

In his remarks, Sam Wadri Nyakua, the Arua City Mayor said the multipurpose resource center will help the city a lot in generating more local revenue which will help in solving many issues.

According to Sam Benjamin Adriko, the Arua City Chief Finance Officer, in the financial year 2023/2024, Arua city budgeted and approved to collect local revenue of shs6bn of which, quarterly, they were mandated to collect about shs1.5bn.

But he said in the two quarters, they only managed to collect local revenue to the tune of shs2,094, 980,719 projecting 70 percent of performance on quarterly basis thus registering a deficit of shs905, 019,289 projecting 30 percent drop on quarterly basis.

However, as part of Financing Durable Solutions Initiative (FDS) for Forcibly Displaced Persons, UNCDF has already availed the Shs1.2bn for Arua city modern multipurpose resource center project.

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