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Lira University of Science and Technology is hunting for Shs7.9bn to fully operationalize its new teaching hospital and complete the administration block. A team of Lira University officials led by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Jasper Ogwal disclosed this while appearing before the Education Committee of Parliament chaired by the Pallisa County MP, Jacob Opolot on Wednesday. Prof. Jasper Ogwal noted with concern that the reduction of their budget from Shs17.5bn this financial year to Shs16.9bn in the next financial year, will negatively affect the operations of the University. Tom Richard Atim, the Senior Planner of Lira University, said government has only allocated Shs2.5bn to the University under their development budget leaving a deficit of Shs6.7bn, which is required to complete the first phase of the administration block and Shs900m for operationalizing the teaching hospital. Last year, Lira University of Science and technology received a teaching hospital worth Shs7.4bn built with funding from the African Development Bank. The teaching hospital is equipped with the state-of-the-art laboratory equipment. It is expected to train medical students from various public universities and offer specialized medical services to the public. The teaching hospital was licensed by Ministry of Health and is under the directorate of Health Sciences at the University with close supervision from the Health and Education Ministries. Lira Woman MP, Joy Atim Ongom emphasized the need for the Education Committee to convince parliament to increase the development budget of the University so that it takes shape.

During the same meeting, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Vice Chancellor of Busitema University also requested for Shs4.3bn for staff recruitment in the FY2019/2020. She explained that the University is only operating with only 22.6% academic staff, 19% Administrative staff and 16% for overall staff. Prof. Okwakol noted that the staff percentages are way below the required 50% staffing level. The budget for Busitema University has increased by Sh426m from the current Shs36.7bn to Shs37.1bn in the FY2019/2020.  Prof. Okwakol says the increase is very minimal to carter for staff recruitment. ‘’The University has continued to lobby for additional funding for recruitment and promotions. Despite the issue being presented as unfunded priority in the Budget Frame Work Paper for FY2019/2020, no funds have been allocated for the purpose,’’ said Okwakol. She reported that they have communicated the matter to the Finance Committee and also made several follow ups in vain.  For comments, call or text us on 0752510225.



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