“If all goes well, we would anticipate some time in 2019 to be blending locally in Uganda."
PIC: Oller (right) with minister of veterinary affairs Bright Rwamirama (middle) and Isaac Kigozi. (Courtesy photo)
ECONOMY | OIL PRODUCTION
The founder of Vega Chemical Corp, which manufactures lubricants and additives for heavy fuels and diesel has expressed interest in investing in Uganda’s oil and gas sector.
Brian Oller, who started his additive line 12 years ago, was invited to Uganda by Lync Africa chief executive Isaac Kigozi through the NRM diaspora league.
Recently, while meeting with the executive director of the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Jolly Kaguhangire, the American, who has previously worked as a field engineer, spoke of his desire to invest in the local oil sector.
“If all goes well, we would anticipate some time in 2019 to be blending locally in Uganda,” he said.
Besides oil and gas, Oller also made known his interest in investment fields such as textile, condom manufacturing and water transport.
So what is the projected scale of his anticipated investment in Uganda?
“At this point, we are not sure of the total investment that will be required to get our facility up and operational.
"We are still putting the costs structures together, but we are excited on getting our footprint in the Ugandan soil," he said.
"With all of the different opportunities we continue to uncover here, it will take us some time to analyse and put costs together, while we continue to get a better understanding of a full value proposition.
"We will have to put a study together on how we can efficiently bring in training local talent while we offer good jobs and careers," Oller explained.
He also met with the minister of state for trade and industry in charge of co-operatives, Fredrick Ngobi Gume.
Oller said the East African free trade laws are favourable for potential investors.
While separately meeting with energy minister Eng. Irene Muloni, he was assured of government's support on how quickly he can get through the process of investing in Uganda.
Employment opportunities lie in wait for Ugandans.
“We anticipate putting an appropriate amount of employees to work to meet the supply opportunities that exist. We will offer job training and continuous education to ensure our employees are prepared to meet the needs of the markets," Oller said.
And his feeling towards Uganda and Africa’s development is very positive.
“We are very excited to bring our Western technologies and assist in the industrialisation and improvements that continue to be made by His Excellency
the President (Yoweri Museveni), who has continued to show his commitment in providing a long term relationship with the citizens of Uganda and the rest of the world and his attempts to provide a better way of life for the citizens of Uganda."
What about Oller's expectations?
“We expect a fair and ethical business relationship where the government supports our initiative to grow, while we produce the best products and services available to the market.
"Our mission is to supply the Ugandan markets in a free and open way,” he said.
Local supplies should also look on the brighter side.
“Since we have an investment consultancy partner (Lync Africa) comprised of Ugandans that know this country better than us, we will do as much local sourcing and supply as we can in our continued effort to bring value back to the communities we will be serving.”
“Yes, the value of the natural resources that Uganda has and is preparing to enjoy will have far-reaching benefits with schools and social programmes and improve the way of life for all Ugandans," Oller added.
"This is why we are so excited and ambitious to work in such a positive progressive environment."
And his two cents to the Ugandan business community: "Give back to the communities that support their business and teach the children.”
"Fair and ethical business practices are instrumental for continued success," Oller said of the mistakes Uganda should avoid in the industry.
"We are working with Isaac Kigozi, and we have already begun this process of having meetings and discussions with colleagues looking to expand their business into East Africa.
"Exciting times are upon this nation and it is the responsibility of the citizens," said Oller.
On his part, Kigozi urged Ugandans in different parts of the world to follow President Museveni’s advice to attract more investors into Uganda, especially in the oil and gas sector.
“Charity begins at home and our years of labouring to develop other countries can only pay back when we also bring people in to benefit our country through investment."