Makerere VC Pleads with Parliament for Urgent Financial Aid

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Makerere University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, has urgently appealed to Parliament for financial support to address critical issues related to staff salary harmonization and pro-rata salary enhancement. The appeal was made during the defense of the University’s budget framework paper for the 2024/2025 Financial Year before the Committee on Education and Sports.

In response to the Ministry of Public Service’s directive in 2023, instructing public universities to harmonize grading and position nomenclature, Makerere University upgraded the salary scales of 1,000 staff members. However, the implementation of this salary harmonization requires UGX 12 billion, and Professor Nawangwe emphasized the imminent risk of staff industrial action if the funds are not secured.

The Vice Chancellor also implored Parliament to support the enhancement of University staff salaries, aligning with President Museveni’s commitment to pay a pro-rata salary of UGX 15 million to professors and all staff. Professor Nawangwe stressed that meeting these remuneration commitments is crucial for sustaining the stability the University currently enjoys and preventing potential disruptions.

As part of the Government’s budgeting cycle, Public Universities, including Makerere, presented their performance reports and defended budget proposals before the Parliamentary Sector Committee on Education and Sports. Professor Nawangwe highlighted the University’s achievements in teaching, learning, student graduation, research, and innovations, including the Innovation Hub. He also provided updates on infrastructural development, such as the ongoing restoration of the Main Building, construction of the Perimeter Wall, and new Schools of Law, Public Health, and Women and Gender Studies.

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Committee members acknowledged Makerere University’s technological innovations and underscored the importance of promoting the widespread adoption of these innovations beyond the University’s boundaries. The members also commended the University’s commitment to issuing transcripts to graduates on graduation day, addressing delays that have persistently affected the timely issuance of transcripts.

In addition to the urgent funding for salary-related matters, Professor Nawangwe appealed to Parliament for financial support for the renovation of the College of Health Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine. He also requested increased rates for Government-sponsored food and living-out allowances, and the restoration of funding for crucial institutions like the Infectious Diseases Institute and the Julius Nyerere Leadership Centre. These financial allocations, he argued, are essential for sustaining and enhancing the University’s overall effectiveness and impact.

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