THE East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is advocating for a law to regulate the East African countries on the use of natural resources. Members of the assembly, which is an organ of the East African Parliament, yesterday met Ugandan MPs on the natura
and Umaru Kashaka
THE East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is advocating for a law to regulate the East African countries on the use of natural resources.
Members of the assembly, which is an organ of the East African Parliament, yesterday met Ugandan MPs on the natural resource committee over the matter.
At a meeting chaired by George Francis Nangale, the chairperson of the assemblyâ€™s committee on agriculture, tourism and natural resources, the MPs said the idea was timely.
Nangale said if the law was enacted, it would guide the East African countries on the management of resources that cover more than one country.
â€œWe donâ€™t want to be taken to the international court for arbitration because of a boundary conflict as a result of discovering oil or gold. Take an example of Mijingo, if we had a law in place, that row should have been solved by now,â€ Nangale said.
He told the members that the law would also improve transparency in taxation, bidding and the procurement process.
Under the proposed law, Nangale said, MPs of the member states would be allowed to participate in the bidding process to avoid awarding tenders to inefficient companies.
The proposed law, Nangale added, would streamline procedures of compensating people occupying areas containing minerals like oil, gold, and diamond.
Mike Ssebalu (EALA-Uganda) commended the proposal, saying it was an indicator of a smooth integration process.
â€œIt will stop secret oil dealings in our countries. Countries sign agreements when the nationals are not informed on the details. If we have such a law in place, such deals will cease,â€ said Beatrice Anywar (Kitgum).
Nangale said the assembly had met the Tanzanian MPs on the matter and it would meet Kenyans next. In Uganda , the legislators will also meet officials from the energy ministry and civil society organisations.
They will also visit Hoima where oil was discovered about two years ago.
Dan Kidega (EALA- Uganda) noted the need to sensitise Ugandans about the benefits of the discovery of oil.
Patricia Hajabakiga (EALA-Rwanda) said member countries needed to harmonise land rights if the law was to progress.
Regional MPs discuss law on natural resources