ARUA. Barely three months of 2020/2021 Financial year (FY) to come to an end, Arua district local government is stuck with unspent millions of shillings which risk being returned to central government if they are not spent by May 2021.

Shs 98,867,083 was approved by Arua district council, a council that consisted of councilors from the current Terego district, Arua city and the residual Arua district whose term of office will expire in May this year.

Arua district chairperson for finance, planning and economic development, Mr Luiji Candini disclosed that less than 45 per cent of the total budget has been implemented since July 1st 2020, leaving the district in hurry to implement some of the projects budgeted for in this financial year.

The situation has created fear in some of the councilors like Luiji Candini from Arivu sub county to Arua district council who also doubles as Arua district chairperson for finance, planning and economic development.

“Out this budget, I want to assure you that we have spent less than 45percent. We are stuck with a lot of money. A lot of work has just started. If I tell you that classroom construction is just at the foundation level, gang workers have not been paid and supply of desks to schools has just started, then you will know that we are in a problem already”, Candini said.

Authorities are now worried that if they rush into implementation of the approved projects with aims of exhausting the budgeted funds, noise of shoddy work in the projects will dominate talks in a few years to come.

Before Terego district and Arua city were carved out of Arua district last year, it found when councilors from the greater Arua had approved the budget for 2020/2021 FY in which lion share of the total budget of Shs 98,867,083 was allocated to education and health sectors having Shs 32,004,827, Health Shs 9,614,732, respectively.

However, the most performing budget implementation in this FY has been payment of salaries of civil servants and councilors’ emoluments for Terego, Arua city and residual Arua district as projects in Education, roads and other sectors are left limping.

Should the money not be fully utilized, the balance will be returned to the treasury as a consolidated fund.

According to Mr Anguyo Pariyo who represents Vurra Sub County to Arua district council, returning the money back to the central government as a consolidated fund would be a frustrating factor amidst high need for project implementation, he said the chief administrative officer would be accountable if the money is returned.

“The CAO continues to implement that budget passed last year. Emoluments, salaries and other things have been paid. But what disturbs me is the issue of developmental monies. Where is it working? I don’t see it working anywhere and that is very frustrating”, Anguyo stressed.

According to Mr Luiji Candini, he has become more concerned in the process of financing projects in this rush time, adding that he will expose officials who indulge in corruption tendencies in these remaining months of implementing the budget.

The CAO Mr Donath Eswilu when contacted said he was implementing the budget the way it was approved by the council before July 2020.

Arua district chairman, also the Arua city mayor elect, Mr Sam Wadri Nyakua said the budget is being effectively implemented by the CAO adding that there is no need for alarm about budget implementation.