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‘Don't wait for oil, diversify revenue base’

By Francis Emorut

Added 13th July 2016 12:23 PM

"We need to do more in enhancing revenue mobilization then add up with oil revenue."

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Patrick Birungi (right) the director in charge of planning at NPA addresses a meeting on economic diversification and growth in Kampala. (Credit: Francis Emorut)

"We need to do more in enhancing revenue mobilization then add up with oil revenue."

KAMPALA - Instead of waiting for oil revenue, government has been urged to diversify the revenue base.

This is what the director in charge of planning at National Planning Authority (NPA), Patrick Birungi suggests.

He says government can diversify in areas of agriculture and tourism to expand its revenue base.

There is need to increase production in agriculture and build capacity of the private sector to build hotels and work on roads to attract tourists, added Birungi.

"We need to invest more in the tourism and agricultural sectors.

"We need to do more in enhancing revenue mobilization then add up with oil revenue. We shouldn't be found dependent on oil revenue only. "

It is estimated that 6.5 billion barrels of oil has been discovered in the Albertine region, with production expected to start in 2020.

The director of planning was speaking during the launch of report on economic diversification and growth by the World Bank in Kampala.

Patrick Ochailap, the deputy secretary to the treasury, said diversification is necessary. (Credit: Francis Emorut)


The biggest challenge the government is facing as far as economic diversification is concerned is bureaucratic tendencies by some officials, Birungi said, adding that delays bureaucratic in nature should be eliminated.

He also called for enforceable contracts for ministers and permanent secretaries to ensure that they perform their duties without delays.

Patrick Ochailap, the deputy secretary to the treasury, agreed. "We must diversify and continue enhancing non-oil revenue in fiscal programing to ensure revenue mobilization.”

He underscored the importance of choosing investments that develop the economy.

Godber Tumushabe, the associate director Great Lakes Institute of Strategic Studies, said oil resource provides an opportunity for the country to do business differently.

"We need to take approach of centre of excellence and not bureaucratic tendencies," he said.

Robert Kasande, a commissioner in the energy ministry, said that government has formulated policies and set up institutions to mitigate the risks associated to oil sector.

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