The impending restructuring of government agencies has triggered anxiety in many government agencies where thousands of well paid staff had gotten used to taking home fat perks.
Sources in one of the semi-autonomous agencies that have appeared on the list of agencies to be scrapped has revealed to The Sunrise, that fear has gripped a number of his colleagues.
“There is anxiety and a sense of dejection among staff. Many have started thinking of perusing opportunities in the private sector while others are thinking of early retirement,” said the source.
The minister of ICT and National Guidance Frank Tumwebaze offered some words of comfort for those that are worried of losing a source of livelihood.
‘Do not cry for those who will lose their jobs in agency x and y. They can work in other districts. We are liberating the resources to go and serve the people.’ The ICT minister said.
Although the minister said many will be absorbed, sources close to the restructuring process have revealed that many will indeed be laid off.
Indeed The Sunrise has reliably learned that savings from the restructuring process at least in the short term will be used to compensate staff who will be laid off or those that will quit the public service.
Officials from the ministry of information noted that some UGX890billion will be saved every year from needless expenditure.
If wisely invested, the savings could help to transform the economy.
The reforms have attracted public praise with some members of the public saying the savings should be invested in the productive sectors of the economy to create jobs especially for the youth.
“Such savings are enough to transform the agricultural sector (if added to the sector’s current budget of UGX892billion). It could also capitalise UDB and UDC to kick start Uganda’s industrialisation agenda to create productive decent jobs for the youth,” said Ramathan Ggoobi, a policy analyst and lecturer at Makerere University Business School (MUBS).
A full statement released by the minister of information Frank Tumwebaze shows that most of the best paying government agencies such as Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) will cease to exist while others such as the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre is set to be merged with the National Agricultural Research Organisations (NARO).
The rationalisation came as a response to the wide pay gaps between public servants in most of the semi-autonomous agencies as opposed to those in the public service.
For example, a Permanent Secretary in a Ministry of Internal Affairs’ earns about UGX3.2m yet he is supposed to supervise an Executive Director of the National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA) who earns over UGX36m in one month.
Like many other reforms implemented in early 1990s, ‘agencification’ of government departments was forced on government as a precondition for accessing development assistance from donors and other development partners.