The Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum in partnership with the Ministry of Energy has today kicked off a two day regional meeting aimed at enhancing the abilities of Ugandans in benefiting from the oil and gas sector as Uganda nears its first actual oil extraction verse.
The 4th Annual Oil and Gas Convention that started today at Kampala Serena Hotel under the theme “Regional collaboration for First Oil” is aimed at understanding the changing world dynamics involved in the oil & gas sector including Policy & regulatory frameworks, Changing supply and demand landscape, Society & demographics, Climate change & sustainability and many more.
While officially opening the meeting, Mr Robert Kasekende, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Energy said that government is still committed to harvesting oil by 2020 and has put in place all the regulations needed to promote local content and make sure that majority Ugandans benefit from the oil sector.
He added that government has also invested heavily in major infrastructure like roads and an airport to help investors easily access the oil.
‘Construction of the airport in Kabale, Hoima which is actually going to be almost bigger than our very own Entebbe national airport is underway. All this shows that Uganda is ready to start oil production in 2020” Kasekende said
He encouraged sponsors to train Ugandans on all fields of the oil & gas sector so that they can secure employment and also seek out for partnerships with local companies as one of the requirements for securing contracts
Elly Karuhanga, the managing director UCMP said that this convention is the last one before Uganda finally kicks start oil production.
“The story of oil and gas began as a rumor; then it seemed impossible to get. The regulations were made to get it. Then it looked as if technology hitches could not be overcome. They have been overcome. We are already on the set and ready to take off anytime from now” Karuhanga said.
He asked Ugandans to use this chance to make meaning full connections that will help them to participate and benefit from the oil sector soon. He however urged that although Uganda is focused on local content in all aspects of the oil construction, Ugandans need to mind the quality of their services and products
“The standards of the goods and services offered by the Ugandan suppliers must be world class, for them to stand a chance of landing oil industry contracts” Karuhaga said.
Dr Etubom Nya Eyoma Asuquo from the Nigeria High Commissioner said that If Uganda is to benefit from the oil resource, the regulatory body; Petroleum Authority of Uganda has to be very strict so that investors don’t take advantage of Uganda as some did in Nigeria
Over 13,000 Jobs are to be created in constructing the Pipeline from Kabaale to Tanga (Tanzania).
The conversation will continue tomorrow, where Prsident Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is expected to make an appearance.