Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

The National Population Council (NPC) has called for the maintenance of 14 of its functions when it is absorbed into the National Planning Authority (NPA), following the approval of the Bill that seeks to merge agencies under the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

Officials from NPC made the call to MPs on the Finance Committee who are considering the Rationalization of Government Agencies (Financial Sector) (Amendment) Bill, 2024.

With the enactment of the Bill, the National Population Council Act, 2014 (Act 8 of 2014) which established the Council, will be repealed in a bid to ensure there is no duplication of roles or functions in government.

The functions of the Council will be transferred to NPA through amendments to the National Planning Authority Act, 2002.

The Director for Information at NPC, Stella Kigozi, appealed to the Committee to consider a proposal to maintain the Council as a department under NPA after the merger, so as it can continue to articulate concerns on population and development.

“We have five key roles including playing a leading role in the United Nations system in promoting population programmes and coordinating projects supported by our development partners. We pray that these roles are incorporated into the Bill as part of the functions of the Council,” said Kigozi.

She also made a call for the absorption of staff of the Council into the NPA system before the commencement of the new rationalization law.

According to the proposed Bill, the staff of the Council serving immediately before the commencement of the act may be redeployed subject to availability of positions within the public service.

Hon. Dicksons Kateshumbwa (NRM, Sheema Municipality) and Hon. Ignatius Mudimi (NRM, Elgon County) tasked the NPC officials on whether they have held discussions with NPA on staff structures and the way forward on the workings of the merger.

“You are proposing the maintenance of certain functions. Have you discussed the organogram with NPA? If there are additional functions, it translates into additional roles since you are recommending for staff to be absorbed,” Kateshumbwa noted.

“Our rules bar us from making more amendments on the Bill. Why is NPC coming at this point? This should have come through the process with NPA,” Mudimi added.

Hon. Amos Kankunda, the Committee Chairperson, asked the NPC officials whether the decision of the merger will work in favor of government.

Kigozi told the Committee that the proposal to mainstream NPC into the National Planning Authority was mooted in 2017, adding that synergies have been made that enable the Council to fit in effectively.

“The country is going to benefit a lot in terms of institutional memory and cadreship which the National Population Council has built overtime,” Kigozi added.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.

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