Members of Parliament (MPs) have approved a recommendation directing the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) to have a land title under its name and not Uganda Land Commission (ULC).
The recommendation is contained in the report of the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) on the report of the Auditor General on the financial statements of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) for financial year ended 30 June, 2022 and other matters.
“The Auditor General noted that the entity did not transfer 15 pieces of land measuring approximately 4,609,775 hectares held, into the name and custody of Uganda Land Commission,” read the report in part.
The report that was presented by Hon. Gerald Nangoli, a member of the committee representing Elgon North County, was adopted during plenary sitting on Wednesday, 18 October 2023.
Nangoli pointed out that whereas ULC is vested with power to hold all government land, an institution like NARO, which is a body corporate has power to hold land in its capacity.
Bungokho County North MP, Hon. John Faith Magolo said that land is safer under the custody of government entities.
“Whereas the ULC is mandated to hold the land of government in trust, many times there are loop holes in ULC,” said Magolo.
The committee further recommended that the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development should allocate adequate resources to NARO after it was discovered that the entity has un-utilised land due to shortage of funds.
“The Auditor General also noted that out of the 90 pieces of land with unknown acreage, one piece of land located at Kasolwe measuring approximately 1.5 hectares with unknown value was not utilized by the entity,” the report read in part.
According to Nangoli, the accounting officer told the committee that the effective land utilisation has been hampered by inadequate budgetary allocation and noted that he had engaged the Ministry of Finance to enhance NARO’s budget so as to fully utilize all the land resources.
“The committee observed that un-utilised land is susceptible to encroachment. The committee recommends that the Ministry of Finance should allocate adequate resources to the entity to enable the entity to fully utilise its land,” Nangoli said.