West Nile only needs electricity connection to spur socio-economic development – ONC
By WN Admin
Arua – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on Tuesday, continued with his second sub-regional tour to the West Nile after Acholi sub-region.
The resourceful sub-regional tours are centered on the theme ‘‘Securing your future through wealth creation and shared prosperity.’’ According to UBOS statistics, the poverty rate in the country stands at 68% with the north and north-eastern Uganda the most affected.
The president is known for following up on the implementation of his social contract in the NRM manifesto 2021-26, and re-awakening the leadership and peasants in the different sub-regions about their role in fighting poverty by taking advantage of the government strategic vehicle of the Parish Development Model as per the National Development Plan III.
Tuesday’s meeting at Arua city Golf Course started early with presentations from the different MDAs about their plans and achievements towards ensuring a better livelihood for the people of West Nile and the whole nation.
Much as the facilitators explained particularly those from the Ministry of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources, the locals were non aligned with their explanations due to failed promises to connect West Nile to the national grid for electricity supply.
In September 2022, the Ministry of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources set a deadline for powering the area which later shifted to March 2023, and still not achieved which angered the peasants and thus branding NRM a party of ’empty’ promises.
The president who seems to have been keenly following up the entire proceedings and on his turn to address the masses, he called on the Minister to explain ‘‘How many more hours for the darkness to end in West Nile?’’
Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu using a technical language said: ‘‘Nebbi sub-station is 85% complete, will get power from Gulu, and Gulu from Kole district,’’ which only left the peasants more confused, and the president told her to use a simpler explanation and tasked the minister to ensure that the West Nile is powered without fail.
On PDM, the President also called on Ssozi Galabuzi; the national coordinator PRM to explain how SACCOs are formed and all the requirements for the people to benefit.
The president assured the masses that the country has enough electricity but the problem is the distribution. The president’s engagements are an expansion of his ideology on how Uganda can speed up economic growth and development by taking advantage of value addition on especially the 14 production lines.
He said with confidence about the achievement of NRM to have transformed the economy from USD1.5b to USD49.3b by June 2023.
Speaking on phone, the deputy public relations officer ONC, Dr. Brenda Jessica. T said: ‘‘The President is a kind of a leader who believes in teaching the people about accountability. He never gets tired to explain and practically taking lead in ensuring that the main objective of fulfilling the social contract of 5 promises in the NRM manifesto is achieved.’’
It is now public evidence how the Bazzukulu (young generation) are so hopeful to have jobs through SMEs and industries in the sub-region, access finances through the PDM, Emyooga and other opportunities. This is to be easily achieved once the sub-region is connected to the national electricity grid after the completion of Muni power sub-station in Arua city and Nyagak 1 and II in Nebbi and Zombo districts.
25 year-old Racheal Atek, a saloon owner had this to say to the Minister: ‘‘If we have a stable power supply, our businesses are to expand in production which increases income and job creation for the youth. Why would we import goods from Kampala or Gulu?’’
Nankabirwa explained that only 11MW are required for Arua city but on completion, it will be 200 MW. This is for the Muni power sub-station in addition to Nyagak 1 producing 3.5MW and Nyagak II in Nebbi and Zombo districts.
The President promised to have a detailed explanation on how to do away with darkness in West Nile in his next engagement.