Govt must now secure the Economy- Prof. Augustus Nuwagaba
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR INSTALLATION! HOW DO YOU FEEL BEING THE PRESIDENT OF ROTARY CLUB OF MUYENGA?
I feel good because I now know that I am living a purposeful life. I have been doing a lot of work in poverty (alleviation) and policy development but now I am going io serve the people and contribute to the welfare of people whom I don’t even know. There is no other happiness you can derive from any other thing other than that.
SO, WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM YOUR PRESIDENCY?
my presidency is going to focus on maternal and child health, particularly in Mitiyana district. We want to improve the economic welfare of the people there and their health situation. I also want to work with boda boda riders in Kampala to professionalize them and improve their livelihoods so that they contribute to this urban economy in order to move the country forward. We have already liaised with the Kampala Metropolitan Police.
HOW IS THE 4Z-DAY NATIONWIDE LOCKDOWN TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS TREATING YOU?
It has paralyzed our businesses. We can’t do our consultancy work because it is fie1d work-oriented. We can’t move to collect data. We are now confining ourselves to collecting data via electronic means, which means we can’t feel what is on the ground. So. it is a challenging work environment, but we are trying to cope with it by learning new tools and innovations.
ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC THAT THIS ECONOMY WILL RECOVER FROM THE COVID.I9 PANDEMIC?
The economy is going to take time to recover because there are certain sectors that have been hit hard by COV1D-19. For example. the tourism sector, which has, been getting $1.7b per year and the diaspora investment which brings in S1.5b.
When I was doing a UN (United Nations) project. I was able to determine that we get 5.6% of our gross domestic product from Ugandans working in diaspora and also tourism. Now this 5.6% is hard to come by because the epicenters for COVID-19, Italy, UK, et cetera, are the same places where our Ugandans who are in the diaspora are working.
DO YOU THTNK PRESIDENT YOWERI MUSEVENI’S CABINET OF, ‘FISHERMEN’ WILL DELIVER?
It is too early to predict. However. in 100 days. we should be able to measure its performance, but it is important that an organ like Cabinet is up to the task and I rea1ly hope that the people who have been appointed are up to the task. I had advised the Government before that we should have had performance contracts such that when a minister is appointed, they sign a contract of what they are going to do every year and the permanent secretary plus the commissioners follow suit. This is what many countries now do, especially led by Singapore. But I highly doubt that any minister or permanent secretary can be measured; against what? If you don’t have a performance contract and Performance targets, it is very hard to measure performance. That is why it is even hard in Uganda to measure budget performance because also the budget is cash budget: