BUJUMBURA December 16th (ABP) – Head of Government Gervais Ndirakobuca brought together, on Tuesday, December 13, 2022, the coordinators of government projects that are funded by development partners, to assess how the portfolio allocated to those projects is being used.
For the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry in charge of Finance, Mrs. Inarukundo, this assessment is made following the shortcomings observed in the management of government projects financed by development partners. She mentioned, among other things, closed projects that did not send audit reports, closed projects that did not reimburse the undisbursed balance or did not send supporting documents, the low disbursement rate, as well as ineligible expenses that the government is obliged to reimburse.
The Prime Minister insisted on the low disbursement rate of most of those projects, based on an assessment by the Prime Minister’s office. Thus, he explained that for the fiscal year 2022-2023, the portfolio planned to carry out the activities of those projects is estimated at 200 million US dollars. It was planned that for the first half of 2022-2023 (June-December 2022), 100 million or 50% would be disbursed.
However, the data collected until the end of October shows that only 30% of that amount had been disbursed, i.e., around 30%. Disparities are noticeable, where some of the projects that should have disbursed around 33% are only at 8%. Impacts are also noticeable following that low disbursement: the slowness in the implementation of projects and the possibility for project portfolios to fall into cancellation, he specified.
For Mr. Ndirakobuca, the government of Burundi cannot allow this to happen. He recommended the coordinators of those projects to roll up their sleeves, to raise that low rate. According to him, the government has placed its trust in them to represent it and develop the country, stressing that those coordinators must earn this trust. He appealed to them to keep in mind that they are there to work for the general interest of the nation and that of the people of Burundi.
The coordinators asked the Prime Minister to organize such a meeting with the development partners, since the responsibility is shared with regard to the low rate of disbursement, following the cumbersome procedures on the side of the partners, which results in the delay in the implementation of projects.
The Prime Minister informed that, in this regard, he will meet with development partners in early January 2023, for an adequate solution in synergy. He recommended that all disbursements be made within the next six months, at the end of the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Note that a mid-term review meeting between the Prime Minister and the coordinators of those projects is scheduled for March 2023.