Sports federations welcome additional funding as NCS Budget requests shoot up

Sports federations welcome additional funding as NCS Budget requests shoot up

By Emmanuel Sekago

The Sports federations welcomed additional funding to the sports sector in the 2022-2023 financial year budget figures read by the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija, receiving UGX 47.81 billion up from UGX 17 billion.

This boost was attributed to the remarkable performances of Ugandan athletes in international competitions, including the 2022 Olympics.

National council of sports

Of this, UGX 17billion was ring-fenced for the Federation of Uganda Football Association-(FUFA) with Shillings 5 billion specifically going to women’s football development.

In the last financial year 2020-2021, FUFA had bagged UGX 10 billion out of the UGX 17 billion allocated to the entire sector.

The increase in the sports budget at that time came when Uganda expected to participate in more than 10 sports disciplines at the 2022 Commonwealth Games scheduled in July and August, in Birmingham. These included boxing, table tennis, athletics, netball, and rugby sevens, among others.

In this current financial year 2023-2024 the Parliament committed to sports development by maintaining the sports budget at UGX 47 billion.

Shockingly this week the National Council of Sports Secretary-General Patrick Ogwel requested for at least UGX 1.4 trillion for the new 2024-2025 budget alongside other Council members, while appearing before the budget committee of Parliament to present the proposed budget, the amount of money they are asking for is informed by several sporting events lined up for the year.

The year 2024-2025 the sports sub-sector is poised for a flurry of activities, including the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, All African Games, and East Africa Community Games, among others according to Ogwel, adding that before the actual games, most sports Federations and Associations will need funds to send athletes to different qualifying events for them to attain points that will guarantee their participation in the actual events.

During his submission, Patrick Ogwel said they need at least UGX 114 billion to pay Confederation of African Football (CAF), as hosting right fees for the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations- AFCON, they recently won in collaboration with Tanzania and Kenya in the East Africa Pamoja Bid.

The National Council of Sports also intends to increase the budget of some sports federations and associations like that of Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) after receiving an order from the President to increase its budget from UGX 3 billion to UGX10 billion.

“We were directed to ensure that the Uganda Athletics Federation which brought the recent glory to Uganda be upgraded from the current UGX3 billion to UGX10 billion, which means a deficit of UGX 7 billion is what they need,” said Ogwel.

Hoima City was earmarked by government of Uganda to have Hoima stadium constructed for AFCON, and during the submission they projected to cost UGX 380 billion, with UGX 100 billion to build ten training facilities in Kampala and Hoima, and UGX 790 billion to construct the Lugogo Sports Complex were National council of sports the land ownership is still being questioned after Uganda sports union (USU) running to ministry of Lands seeking redress.

It should be noted that, in one of the parliament sittings chaired by Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among on Wednesday, December 13th 2023, Following the submission of the National Budget Framework Paper (BFP) by the Finance Minister, Speaker, Anita Among,charged Members of Parliament to urgently embark on processing the 2024-2025 National Budget.

The BFP is the Government’s overall strategy document for the budget, and provides the link between the Government’s policies and the annual budget.

It contains information such as revenue projections, the resource envelope, priority interventions and proposed sectoral expenditure plans.
Speaker, Among prescribed new timelines for the budget cycle, which she said will give Parliament adequate time to scrutinize the budget and produce a quality product.

She asked the sectoral committees to scrutinize the Budget Framework Paper and report to the Committee on the Budget by January 15th 2024, earlier than the deadline provided for in the Public Finance Management Act, 2015 which prescribes February, 1st.

The Budget Committee will then report to Parliament on the Budget Framework Paper by January 25th 2024.

The Speaker also directed that the Ministerial Policy Statements be tabled by March 10th 2024 from where the Leader of the Opposition draws the alternative policy statement. The Leader of Opposition will have to present alternative policy statements by March 20th 2024.

By March 25th 2024, the Speaker directed that the proposed National Budget for 2024-2025 should be tabled in Parliament.

This will be preceded by the processing of ministerial statements by House Sectoral Committees which the Speaker asked to report to the House by April, 15th 2024.

Meanwhile, Parliament will then process the tax bills which Rt Hon Speaker Among said should be ready by May 1st 2024.

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