The government of Uganda is seeking US $117m loan from China for construction of oil roads. Uganda Media Centre communications and media relations manager Denis Katungi, announced the report and said the Cabinet agreed to borrow the funds.

“The Government will borrow the money from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to finance the construction of Masindi-Biiso, Kabaale-Kiziranfumbi and Hohwa-Nyairongo-Kyarusesa-Butoole roads,” said Denis Katungi.

According to Mr. Denis, upgrading and constructing the national oil roads will facilitate the efficient development of the strategic national oil resources. It will also add to the network of road infrastructure required for movement of construction materials, workers and consumables from other parts of the country to the oil region.

Uganda has a target of completing a large section of its “oil roads” across the region. The set target of 2021 is a year behind schedule, and officials are citing funding challenges.

According to a 2016 Cabinet directive to the Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra), the 12 critical oil roads, about 700km in total, were supposed to be completed by 2020 to facilitate the production of oil in 2023.

Last year, the government signed a contract with China Railway Seventh Group to design and construct a 97km road connecting Masindi-Biso, Kabaale-Kiziranfumbi and Hohwa-Nyairongo-Kyarushesha-Butoole.

Minister of State for Planning David Bahati also presented to Parliament a loan request of US $456.37m from China Exim Bank to fund the upgrade and construction of national oil roads. 550km of the roads for which funding has already been secured will be completed by 2021.