LIRA CITY: President Museveni, who is also the NRM Presidential Candidate, has said Uganda is preparing to reap from the oil production expected to start soon.
Museveni, who addressed the meeting ‘scientifically’, said he was happy to note that with the discovery of petroleum in Uganda, more money would be added to the tax collection to further develop the country and all this, he attributed to the NRM government.
“It is now 14 years since we discovered petroleum and had not yet dug it out of the ground because we were still arguing with the oil companies. We have now finally agreed with them,” said Museveni on Tuesday during a meeting of NRM leaders and flag-bearers from Lango sub region districts of Alebtong, Amolatar, Apac, Dokolo, Kole, Lira and Oyam.
“These companies will spend 20 billion US dollars to dig it out of the ground. This will be additional money to the taxes we are already collecting,” he added.
Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) today announced completion of the sale of its assets in Uganda to French firm Total, paving the way to the Final Investment Decision which has eluded the country for years.
The Uganda has since 2016 been lagging behind on the US$3.5billion project, owing to a number of tax disputes.
The discovery of 6.5 billion barrels of oil reserves in the Albertine region of Uganda present an opportunity for the country to generate government revenues for domestic investment and catalyze domestic private sector development.
However, the oil reserves represent a temporary boon, as revenues from oil reserves will be finite.
But their impact on Ugandan economy and society, if deployed strategically, could be far more long-term.
Benefits of the oil industry extend to creation of employment by the oil companies and service providers, supplies of goods and services by Ugandan companies, increased Foreign Direct Investment, training of Ugandans in the sector and these could work in Uganda or out of Uganda, improved infrastructure such as roads and tourism.
Meanwhile, Museveni urged the NRM leaders to remind the people that it was because of wise policies of the NRM that the country has been able carry out a number of notable achievements.
He said the decision to prioritize peace and respecting the private sector was the reason there are more investors in the country and this had gradually increased the tax revenue.
“I see here that the distribution of money in Lango sub region is about Shs 272 bn in a year. In 1986 the tax collection in the entire Uganda was Shs 5billion. So now you can see how wisdom can be stronger than strength,” Museveni said.
About the Cattle Compensation
President Museveni said the government would continue the cattle compensation programme in Acholi, Lango and Teso but emphasized that this time, they would not use lawyers because some of them were conniving with some people in the Ministry of Finance to cheat the wanainchi and delay the process.
President Museveni noted that because of the good road networks, the business between South Sudan and Uganda was growing. He noted that roads like Moroto-Nakapipirit had been well constructed without the need for external borrowing.
Museveni tasked the leaders to continue teaching people about the need to shift from subsistence to commercialized agriculture even as they carry out the mobilization.
Outgoing NRM vice chairperson, Sam Engola appreciated President Museveni for the support rendered to Lango sub region and for meticulously respecting the electoral guidelines in this pandemic period.
“We thank you for the support in the infrastructural sector which has made Lira qualify for a city,” he said.
He noted that the sub region still sought for his support in procuring value addition services and equipment for farmers to boost their yields and house hold incomes.
Before leaving, the President Museveni briefly met with a few NRM elders and flag bearers.