18 June 2021
The National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) could face abolition or merge with the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), in a move to merge government agencies and authorities whose roles seem to be duplicated.
According to reports, the plan follows recommendations from the Ugandan government and a separate review team concerning government agencies, commission authorities, and public expenditure to ensure there is no duplication with existing ministries. It would give the UCC responsibility for major projects such as the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) scheme.
While the government recommended for NITA-U to be restructured into a department under the Ministry of Information, Communications Technology and National Guidance (MoICT), the independent review team called for it to be completely abolished and merged with UCC which will be retained as an autonomous body as it regulates some of the biggest taxpayers in the country. Alternatively, the NBI could be transferred to be managed by Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) under the supervision of MoICT.
Meanwhile, the Ugandan government said that it has introduced a 12% tax on internet data, potentially hiking prices for online access in the East African country where consumers are already paying some of the world’s highest internet costs.