Tasks ahead of Gatete, Uwera in new dockets

Sunday April 15 2018

Claver Gatete, incoming Ministers for

Claver Gatete, incoming Ministers for Infrastructure. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA | NATION 

By RODRIGUES RWIRAHIRA
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Incoming Ministers for Infrastructure and Finance are facing huge tasks ahead of mobilising resources needed to complete the ongoing infrastructure projects.

Recent Cabinet reshuffle saw Claver Gatete transferred from Ministry of Finance to that of Infrastructure where he replaced James Musoni.

Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana was elevated to Finance Minister the state minister in charge of economic planning. The post will now be taken by Dr Claudine Uwera, who until the appointment, was a lecturer at University of Rwanda.

Infrastructure, which is at the centre of the country’s development agenda, needs more financial resources mostly expected from domestic revenues to implement the projects.

For instance, the government is expected to generate enough electricity to supply every households, before the next seven years at the rate of 100 per cent from the current 34.5 per cent.

Speaking to Rwanda Today, MP Theoneste Karenzi and a member of Public Accounts Committee called for better planning to avoid increasing the numbers of white elephant projects that have been gobbling up public funds.

“Infrastructure projects always call for more money. We are talking of energy, water, housing and transport; this will only come into effects with the support of good planning, efficient use of allocated budgets and implementation according to plan,” he added.

According to him, there is a need for a sense of responsibility to complete the ongoing projects in transport like expansion of RwandAir to gain more routes and fast-track work at Bugesera International Airport.
Earlier this year, while presenting a seven-year government project, Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente assured the government’s commitment to supplying clean water to all Rwandans.

He said that construction and repair of new water treatment systems in the city of Kigali and other towns is expected to treat volumes of water on a daily basis from 182,120 cubic meters to 303,120 cubic meters.

Commenting on the water projects earlier, Kenezio Kayima, an environment and water expert argued that the set targets are achievable but the government must ensure it has stable source of finances and expertise required.

“On water production, for example, it’s possible technically especially given the fact that Wasac currently has shifted from using conventional water treatment plants to modern ones that take less time to construct and provide more volumes,” he added.

He urged the government to fast-track implementation of sanitation master plans especially in Kigali and invite members of private sectors to invest in solid waste management projects to support the city of Kigali which has been dragging its feet to establish the need facility.

According to MP Karenzi, officials at Minecofin will further need to work closely with the Rwanda Revenue Authority to develop policy and strategy to collect sufficient domestic revenues.

“We expect more efforts to generate domestic taxes; this will be done through widening of tax base; improvement in tax collections and recovery,” he added.