NEBBI. Nebbi district authority has disagreed with Nebbi municipal council officials over remittance of annual local revenue.
This is after a section of Nebbi district councillors demanded that government should make it a law for all municipalities and town councils to remit part of their local revenue to fund the activities of the district.
In a recent council meeting, Nebbi district councillors called upon Members of Parliament (MPs) and Uganda local government association (ULGA) to lobby for the amendment of article 85 of the local government act to allow town councils and municipalities to start remitting part of their local revenue to the district.
According to Mr Moris Kwach, the Nebbi district councillor representing Kucwiny sub-county, municipal and town councils have representatives in the district council that are paid using the local revenue of the district, an act he said is totally unfair.
“The district has limited revenue base and if only the article can be amended, it will increase the revenue of the district to effectively run its activities including payment of municipal councillors’ emoluments at the district level,” he said.
But Mr Geoffrey Thorwinywa, the councillor representing Thatha division in Nebbi municipality to Nebbi district council argued that it is in the law that municipal and town councils should have representatives in the district council.
He said the same law provides for the municipalities and town councils to remain financially independent though supervised by the district.
“People should not be money minded and in any case, Nebbi is the youngest municipality in the country. Why is it that older districts are not complaining?” Thorwinywa asked.
Thorwinywa said it should just be considered as a proposal that the district council wants municipalities and town councils to remit revenue to its coffers, a demand which must first go to Parliament before being implemented.
Meanwhile Mr Geoffrey Ngiriker, the Nebbi municipality mayor said as the council, they do not have enough money to fund the district budget.
He said divisions remit 50% of their local revenue to the municipality, of which 30 % is again sent back to the divisions leaving the municipality with only 20% to operate on.
“The central government has taken all our sources of revenue including bus and taxi parks which could help in generating more income. Now if the district also wants part of the little money we get, how shall we run our day to day activities?” Ngiriker asked.
He said giving the district 5% or 10% of the municipality revenue will leave them with almost nothing. Ngirike instead asked the district to look for alternative means of raising local revenue since they have a lot of assets lying idle.
However, Mr Linus Okecha, the Nebbi district chief finance officer (CFO) maintains that it is prudent for municipal and town councils to remit part of their local revenue to the district because they are part of the district budget.
“We can’t continue utilising the local revenue collected from the sub-counties in the district for paying municipal councillors’ emolument. The government should quickly come in to address this concern before districts take action,” Okecha warned.