Parliamentary National Economy committee has questioned Education Minister Jessica Alupo on the management of Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba (UPIK).
Alupo who was appearing before the committee yesterday morning to respond to management questions told the committee that there is no vacuum in the management of the institute.
“There is no vacuum whatsoever in the management of UPIK,” Alupo said adding “I decided to renew the contract of the Management team as we finalize the process of instituting the permanent structures.”
When asked by Ibanda North Member of Parliament Xavier Kyooma Akampurira to name the members of that Management team that she has just renewed their contracts, Alupo said that she did not have the names at the time.
Kyooma wondered why Alupo could not know the names of the team that she had just renewed their contract.
He also quizzed Alupo on the mandate of the governing institute.
“When we visited the Institute, there was a Governing Council. Could you brief us on that Council?” Kyooma asked.
Alupo responded by saying that she is not aware of the governing council.
“I am not aware of that Governing Council because there was no Principal who is supposed to be its secretary.”
Buliisa Member of parliament Hon. Stephen Mukitale Birahwa marveled why the Institute which has been in existence for 7years is running it in clumsy way?
The committee was scrutinizing proposal by government to borrow US$145 from the World Bank to finance the Albertine Region Sustainable Development Project and Kigumba Petroleum Institute is among the beneficiaries.
Alupo told the committee that Ministry of Education met the World Bank officials and requested that the loan be passed as the ministry institutes the Council and Management team.
“We have to follow the process as stipulated in the Universities & Other Tertiary Institutions Act to recruit the Management. We have laid the Statutory Instrument on floor of parliament before we put in place the UPIK’s Council,” she said.
The institute was established in 2009 and admitted the first batch of students in 2010, with the objective of training personnel in petroleum-related skills, at certificate, diploma and undergraduate levels.
In November 2011, the Uganda Government began the process of elevating the Institute to University status.
In the same year, increased budgetary allocations were made towards the elevation of the institute from a vocational school to a fully-fledged International University.
The loan that government is requesting to borrow; US$8 million (UGX:20 billion) from World Bank is aiming to achieve the goal of transforming the institute into a fully-fledged University