President Yoweri Museveni has said Government is committed to developing the Oil and Gas industry in partnership with all stakeholders, in an efficient and effective manner for the benefit of the country and the region.
“There is need to form genuine partnerships with international Oil companies based on principles of transparency and mutual trust. Benefits accruing out of the oil and gas activities like revenue, jobs and services must be shared equitably,” the President said.
President Museveni made the remarks in a speech delivered by the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda at the opening of the 4th Uganda International Oil and Gas Summit organized under the theme “Uganda Moving Towards Commercial Production” at Kampala Serena Hotel on Wednesday.
The President noted that the oil and gas sector is one of the priority sectors for National Development Plan II, because of its proven worldwide potential to spur economic growth, create employment, foster technology transfer and generate revenues for investments in the development of other strategic sectors such as infrastructure and human resource.
He noted that the oil and gas Industry is already progressing towards the development and production phase, adding that projects such as the construction of the refinery, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline from Hoima to Tanga and the associated infrastructure or facilities to support production, processing and transportation are expected to be undertaken.
Museveni also said that through the international Oil companies like CNOOC Uganda, TOTAL E&P and Tullow Uganda Ltd, Government has taken a number of crucial steps towards facilitating oil production such as; implementation of the front-end engineering design for the pipeline and making preparations to skill and certify individuals to meet and adhere to international oil and gas industry standards.
He however observed that the oil and gas sub-sector cannot operate in isolation, noting that the development of other enabling infrastructure is crucial for attracting investments in the industry.
“To effectively harness the opportunity and further develop the industry, relevant fundaments such as specific infrastructural development, appropriate technology, peace and security, human resource, legal, institutional and regulatory framework to foster transparency, protection of the environment and good governance which will boost investment in the oil and gas sector have been strengthened,” Museveni said.
His Excellency also said that the oil and gas sector will attract investors in the country due to the significant opportunities it will generate such as the growing market for petroleum, good infrastructure, political and economic stability and the East African Trade facilitation project among others.
“The Investor and the Consumer are the most important people in Uganda. People who bring capital create jobs and bring revenue for the State. The Government of Uganda accords high-level priority to the establishment of an investor friendly environment,” President Museveni said.
He pledged government’s commitment to working with stakeholders and tackling challenges within the industry to deliver first oil.
The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Irene Muloni noted that Uganda expects to be producing its first oil by 2020, a target set by the President, adding that the sectors involved in the oil and gas industry are working to expedite the process to ensure that they hit the set target.
She said licenses have already been issued in the joint venture structures of CNOOC Uganda, TOTAL E&P and Tullow Uganda Ltd.
Muloni also noted that a number of processes and milestones in the Oil and Gas industry such as land acquisition, transport networks and local content development among others are being handled through the different relevant sectors.
The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde, stressed the need to implement and promote the BUBU policy through the production processes of oil and gas in order to develop the local industries.
She noted that capacity building is a key requirement for the oil and gas industry, noting that skilling will equip and increase skills for the small and medium industries enabling them to participate in the oil and gas sector.
Kyambadde also highlighted that the oil and gas industry, will create massive opportunities for trade and business development in the country resulting from provision of employment and infrastructure development among others.
The summit was attended by government officials and other relevant stakeholders in the oil and gas industry.
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
BY DOREEN NASASIRA