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Uganda failing on oil and gas local content

By Billy Rwothungeyo

Added 22nd February 2017 08:09 AM

Although commercially viable oil in Uganda was discovered over a decade ago, the country has not rushed into oil production, preferring to first work on policies, but Mweheire says capacity among Ugandans is still lacking.

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Although commercially viable oil in Uganda was discovered over a decade ago, the country has not rushed into oil production, preferring to first work on policies, but Mweheire says capacity among Ugandans is still lacking.

Patrick Mweheire, Stanbic Bank Uganda CEO speaking at the conference. Photo by Billy Rwothungeyo  


As Uganda draws ever nearer to producing the first commercial barrel of oil in 2020, Patrick Mweheire, the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda’s largest bank, Stanbic Bank is afraid not enough is being done to foster participation of locals in the industry.

Although commercially viable oil in Uganda was discovered over a decade ago, the country has not rushed into oil production, preferring to first work on policies, but Mweheire says capacity among Ugandans is still lacking.

 “I believe that the policy exists, it is unlikely to change much. There is political will. I believe we are failing miserably on partnerships. How can we improve our ability to harness the partnerships in this sector? There is no doubt that $10m is going to be spent in this sector, capital is coming through, and money is going to be spent. The question is; what is going to be the piece of the pie that we get on that $10m?” he said.

Speaking at the fourth Local Content Conference on Oil and Gas under the theme “Repositioning local service providers for the next phase of oil development” organized by Stanbic Bank Uganda at the Kampala Serena Hotel, Mweheire said if handled well, oil has the potential to rejuvenate Uganda’s struggling economy.

“Oil provides us an opportunity to get back to the 9-10% growth numbers, and to really start to improve our livelihoods by increasing our income per capita. Getting that right requires a number of things, let me use three ‘Ps’ which I think are key to getting the sector right, one is policy, the second one is political will, the third ‘P’ is partnerships,”

Ernest Rubondo, the Executive Director of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda called upon aspiring suppliers in the sector to register.

“I therefore encourage all potential suppliers to register on the national supplier database, which the National Petroleum Authority has announced as this this is one of the prerequisite for any supplier in this sector,” he said.

“The journey is only beginning, and those who know the industry know that Uganda is only beginning.”

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