By Kampala Post Reporter
President Yoweri Museveni has described the resources that will accrue from Uganda’s oil and gas as stimulant that will enable the bigger economic sectors of government to grow.
“6.5 billion barrels of oil are confirmed in 40% of the Albertine area. More is expected in Moroto-Kadam basin. This is not a lot of money, but it is useful money because it will act as a stimulant and will create a base for bigger sectors to grow. So don’t get intoxicated of oil…oil…African countries have bigger potential in industry and tourism, among others, that are perennial,” he observed.
The President was on Wednesday afternoon opening a 2-day International Oil and Gas Summit at Kampala Serena Hotel. The Summit is being attended by delegates who are experts in the oil and gas industry, as well as those in the related sectors.
President Museveni, who reminded delegates about the history of oil exploration in Uganda, added that the oil and gas resources will be used for the development of infrastructure like the construction of the railway, crucial airfields that can give easy access to areas of tourism attraction, hydro-power dams, pay off debts and develop research centers. He, however, cautioned that great care is needed when handling the oil industry as it can develop into a curse.
He further emphasized the need to negotiate good agreements with oil companies adding that no mistake made by other countries like the flaring of gas, will be seen in Uganda. “We are in touch with the oil companies and the residual issues will be resolved,” he stressed. The President also urged participants in the summit to take interest in the human resource; citing Japan that has neither minerals nor agricultural sector.
Museveni said there is potential for more consumption in Africa in general and Uganda in particular. “You are at the right place at the right time whether dealing directly with petroleum or other related services,” he told delegates. He commended his Tanzanian counterpart, President John Magufuli for the concessions of US$12.77 per barrel that he made.
“We have been lucky to work with our brothers from Tanzania on the pipe line. I need to salute President Magufuli for the concessions he made of $12.77 fee per barrel,” he said. The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Eng. Irene Muloni, outlined the progress made between Uganda and Tanzania in the planned construction of the crude oil pipe line from Western Uganda to Tanga in Tanzania.
The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde, outlined the role of her ministry in as far as the oil and gas industry is concerned. Other speakers included the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy of Tanzania, Dr. Hamisi Nwinyimvua, who highlighted the importance of regional cooperation citing the oil pipeline that will bring together the people of the 2 countries - Tanzania and Uganda.