By Ismael Kasooha
The National Planning Authority (NPA) has concluded a two week retreat at the National Leadership Training Institute Kyankwanzi to assess the progress of the National Development Plan III (NDP III) and plan for the success of NDP IV.
According to the midterm review of the NDP III results show that the country attained only 17% of the targets set in the plan halfway into its implementation, “This weak performance is attributed to challenges of COVID-19 effects and the existence of data gaps, full transitioning to the programme approach, as well as weak planning and budgeting.
Amos Lugolobi, the State Minister for Finance while addressing NPA staff at Kyankwazi said that the country needed to refocus and address issues such as the high Cost of public administration.
“Government needs to review the cost of public administration if it is to achieve the intended goal and objectives. We have many politicians and civil servants who are taking a lot of taxpayers money yet their contribution to national development is minimal,” said Lugolobi.
He said that in the recently passed budget there were 17 austerity measures aimed at addressing the prevailing challenges the economy was facing.
“Some of the austerity measures were no travels abroad, no recruitment of more staff, no more workshops and seminars among others and if we don’t fix this these measures might increase to over 30. So as planners we need to scratch our heads to move forward,” said Lugolobi.
Prof. Pamela Mbabazi the Chairperson of NPA said that they faced major implementation challenges in NDP III.
“Overall only 17% of the targets in NDP III were achieved due to the many issues at hand. We need to have coordinated programming if we are to move forward,” said Mbabazi.
Government has already begun the process of formulating NDP IV FY2025/26 – FY2029/30) to address the gaps identified in NDP III.
The Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja while presiding over the closure of the two-week retreat asked NPA that focus in NDP IV should be on skilled workforce, preventive health and a whole government approach strategy.
“We need to commit to a knowledge based society. If people have enough information they can take advantage of the available opportunities,” said Nabbanja.
Nabbanja asked the NPA to ensure they prioritize peace and security because it is the backbone of development.
“When you are planning you need to prioritize peace and security because it is essential for any development to take place. All your plans should look at strengthening peace and security for continuity of development,” said Nabbanja.
Nabbanja said that peace and security were a foundation for any country to achieve social economic transformation.
Prof. Pamela said that the retreat aimed at re-aligning government priorities for better implementation of government programmes.
The National Planning Authority is an agency of government responsible for Coordinating and harmonizing development planning in the country, Monitor and evaluate of Public Projects and Programmes, Advise the Presidency on policies and strategies for the development of the country, liaise with the private sector and civil society in the evaluation of Government Performance and Support local capacity development for national and decentralized development planning.