OIL MONEY: Who are the 6 Bank Account Signatories?

The Petroleum Fund account at Bank of Uganda is expected to be receiving $12 Million daily (About Shs.44bn) when Uganda starts the planned peak pumping of 230, about it 000 barrels of crude oil a day for a period of 25 to 30 years.

Commercial production of the 1.7billion barrels recoverable oil deposit of the explored 6.5bn barrels is to start in 2020 according to the government’s continuous assurances.

Currently the Petroleum Fund dollar account number 003300328400010 and shillings account number 00330028000026 have only $72 Million and UGX 10billion respectively.

READ ALSO: INSIDE STORY: Where Is Shs. 2.5 Trillion Oil Revenue? 

The Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) of 2015 gives the Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development powers to oversee the management of the Petroleum Fund; but the minister is not among the six signatories.

The act dictates, drug “The Minister shall be responsible for the overall management of the Petroleum Fund and shall oversee the transfer into and the disbursements from the Petroleum Fund.”


The two accounts have 3 Principal Signatories and all are top technocrats at the Ministry of Finance and Planning and Economic Development.

Keith Muhakanizi

Immediately after the enactment of PFMA, the Finance Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Keith Muhakanizi who also doubles as the Secretary to the Treasury wrote to BOU to open the Petroleum Fund dollar and shilling accounts.

“I authorize you to open a “USD” and “UGX” accounts titled “Uganda Petroleum Fund”, part of Muhakinizi’s letter addressed to the Director Banking read in part according to a copy we have obtained.

He also went ahead and appointed himself co-principal signatory with other officials under him.

As the Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury, Muhakanizi is the chief executive at the Finance Ministry.

Lawrence Semakula

Another principal signatory is Mr. Lawrence Semakula, the Accountant General of the government of Uganda.

Semakula is in charge of 5 departments at the Finance Ministry namely; Technical and Advisory Services, Treasury Services, Financial Management Services, Inspectorate and Internal Audit and Uganda Computer Services.

His office is responsible for initiating, formulating, and coordinating of policy for management of public funds, assets, and debt. It also provides guidelines and procedures for management of public funds.

Patrick Ocailap

The third principal signatory is Patrick Ocailap, who is the Deputy Secretary to the Treasury and thus number two in the technical management at the Finance Ministry, after Muhakinizi.

He assists Muhakinzi in overseeing the three directorates at Ministry of Finance namely; Budget, Economic Affairs and Accountant General’s office.

Ocailap is also one of 5 executive members of Uganda Financial Intelligence Authority, a government agency established to monitor, investigate, and prevent money laundering in the country. It is also responsible for the enforcement of Uganda’s anti-money laundering laws and the monitoring of all financial transactions inside the country’s borders.

The Petroleum Fund account also has 3 lower signatories including Godfrey B. Semugooma the Commissioner Financial Management System and his deputy Aiden D. Rujumba.

The third minor signatory Isaac Mpoza who was the Acting Director Debt and Cash Management died last year.

According to the PFMA, the money from the Petroleum Fund account can only be withdrawn after the minister of Finance securing the clearance from Parliament.

Minister Matia Kasaija in December last year approached Parliament to appropriate Shs117bn from the oil fund for construction of roads in the oil areas but it was denied.

Parliament demanded for the full audit report of how all the money received from oil companies since 2010 have been utilized.

Before the minister could return with the audit report, this investigative website broke the story of infamous Shs 6bn handshake that government officials awarded themselves.

The story resulted to parliamentary investigation that is ongoing.

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