Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has assured Ugandans that the country is still on the right track to produce its first oil in a manner that will be beneficial to Uganda’s Economy.
Rugunda said while the recovery of oil in Uganda in 2006 came with its own challenges and immense gaps in skills, infrastructure, legal and institutional structures among others, these gaps have so far been covered through enabling laws and regulations, institutions and major skilling programs.
Ruganda was speaking at the second day of the 5th Oil and Gas Convention at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala
The annual conference is organised by the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) to give a platform to all stakeholders in the Mining sector to discuss challenges, and way forwards but also deliberate on what Uganda needs to do to have a prosperous oil and gas sector
Rugunda who represented President Yoweri Museveni said the delays in the actual exploration of the first oil are only meant to ensure that Uganda Achieves Maximum Benefits from the Oil.
“We want to assure Ugandans that government is not only determined to deliver first oil but also ensure the efficient management of the oil and gas profits and opportunities” he said
This year’s convention under the theme ‘2019 decision time; countdown to commercialisation,’ focused mainly on preparing Ugandans so that they are able to benefit from the sophisticated oil sector.
Hakeem Belo, Chairman Metis Capital Partners, who gave a key note address noted that government needs to focus on empowering Ugandans so that they can be the most beneficiaries of the Oil.
“Most countries that have been successful have spent considerable investment in the local infrastructure, in the communities. Local content is important for Ugandans to benefit from the oil industry” he said
The CEO Stanbic Bank Uganda, Patrick Mweheire deliberated on the emerging economic opportunities especially on the new corridor along the proposed pipeline route.
Mweheire said as much as Uganda wants to support the local industrials, the oil and gas sector has extremely high standards that can’t be lowered for the Small and Medium Enterprises Sector
“The real issue is about the standards. We need to standardise our goods and services if we are to stand out” he said
Speaking at the opening of the convention, Mr. Ernest Rubondo, the Executive Director of Petroleum Authority of Uganda, explained that oil & gas developments in Uganda are contributing to growth of other sectors of the economy through creation of linkages.
These include Agriculture, Tourism, Housing, Manufacturing, Transport and Education, which will ensure lasting value to the country.
Mr. Rubondo said the Authority is determined to build capacity of the economy to facilitate petroleum development and help industry players to take advantage of the opportunities the oil and gas sector is bringing to the county
He revealed that the process is ongoing to have the Finala Investment Decision given government’s strategic investment in roads, second international airport, capacity building & institutional development among other areas.
“We now await FID to be taken by our partners during 2019,” he said.