Lawmakers have begun reviewing projects implemented through loans secured by government from different global financial institutions, as part of the parliamentary oversight role.
The parliamentary standing committee in charge of foreign affairs, cooperation and security, yesterday, scrutinised some of the projects which received grants and loans from institutions like World Bank and African Development Bank.
Specifically, the committee heard from officials from the Ministry of Education, explaining the progress of two projects, including one funded by the World Bank to the tune of $34 million (approx Rwf27.5 billion).
The concessional loan from the World Bank, which was secured back in 2011, was supposed to fund skills and infrastructure development mainly in six Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centres (IPRCs) across the country.
It was also supposed to help monitor and assess the implementation of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme.
The coordination of the projects was implemented through the Skills Development Fund (SDF), under the Workforce Development Authority (WDA).
Addressing the MPs, Wilson Muyenzi, the SDF Project Manager, said that all the projects completed last May and that government was supposed to repay the loan by the year 2051 at the interest rate of 1 per cent and 2 per cent depending on phases of reimbursement.
“So far, we have executed 100 per cent of the project components, we are currently conducting audits and assessing performance,” he said, adding that government still enjoys a 10 year grace period, until 2021, when it will start paying back the loan.
Probing the impact of the project, lawmakers asked about procured machines which were installed in some of the TVET schools but were since lying idle because of a number of issues, including lack of space.
“We understand there are schools which were supposed to benefit from the loan like Kibari VCT in the district of Gicumbi, and other schools but they received no funds,” asked Fortune Nyiramadirida a member in the committee on foreign affairs, cooperation and security.
In response, Muyenzi said that some schools which did not get funds to upgrade their facilities simply because they encountered challenges were beyond his office since it involved land related conflicts, while others were told to renovate workshops to house the machinery, which they did not do.
“The school (VTC Kibari) was part of six others, but we couldn’t proceed with supporting them since its premises were being contested between a church and the district, thus we channeled the funds somewhere else,” he said.
The lawmakers are expected to visit the funded projects before making a final report to the assembly.