The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Mary Gorreti Kitutu has re-echoed the need to have local Ugandan Companies awarded contracts in the Oil and Gas Sector ahead of their foreign counterparts.
Kitutu made these remarks while officially opening the two-day 2nd National Content Conference organised by the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) at the Kampala Serena Hotel under the theme “Economic Linkages and Investment Opportunities in the Oil and Gas Sector”.
“Ugandan Companies should be considered first in every contract awarded in the Oil and Gas Sector. Uganda should come first in everything,” stressed the Minister.
Kitutu also pointed out that the Minerals, Oil and Gas sector has been prioritized among the sectors with the greatest multiplier effect on the economy as detailed in the National Development Plan III along with tourism, agriculture, infrastructure and human capital development.
The minister further revealed that her Ministry as the lead agency in the development of National Content has established a multi-sectorial Local Content Steering Committee responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Local Content Policy.
“Government is reviewing the principles for the establishment of the Local Content Fund which is meant to provide Ugandan businesses with affordable financing. All the required consultations will be undertaken during the establishment of the fund,” added Kitutu.
Ernest Rubondo, the Executive Director at the PAU emphasized the importance of organising the national conferences
“The takeaways from last year’s conference which have continued to be taken forward are; supporting of enterprise development and building competitiveness, increasing of value retention in the aspects of procurement, and planning for certification and accreditation of training institutions in collaboration with Ministry of Education and Sports,” he said.
Linkages under implementation include; land use planning, which was commenced in2011, security, education and skills development, transportation and infrastructure. Linkages under definition include; tourism, health, housing, agriculture, financing and fiscal systems, and linkages yet to be described include diplomacy, and industry.
In his closing remarks, Robert Kasande, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development in a speech read by Rubondo said the Conference has been able to discuss the various linkages between the seven sectors of Agriculture, Education, Health, Infrastructure and Transport, Land use planning, Tourism, and Financing.
Kasande also noted that much as it had been noted that several interventions had been undertaken by both government and private sector, a lot more effort was needed as highlighted in the way forward.