“When you allow work to be done outside of your country, you are depriving your people of opportunities to learn, innovate and get jobs," Nwapa said.
PIC: Peter Lokeris, the state minister for minerals. (File photo)
OIL & GAS
KAMPALA - A national content expert from Nigeria, Dr. Ernest Nwapa, has urged Ugandans to insist on the use of local content in the oil and gas industry.
The former executive secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board said only through national content will Uganda reap the most benefit from the oil resource.
"When you allow work to be done outside of your country, you are depriving your people of opportunities to learn, innovate and get jobs. You are creating those same opportunities for others," he said.
Nwapa made the remarks during a conference organised by the Uganda Oil and Gas Service Providers in partnership with Association of Tanzania Oil and Gas Service Providers on Wednesday in Kampala.
He said companies will do what the country wants them to do. "If you want them to bring all their staff from outside, they will happy be happy to that. If you tell them you want them to share their resources with you, make investments, create value in the country, they will do it," Nwapa said.
The state minister for minerals, Peter Lokeris, said it is important to address the skills gap before commercial oil eventually starts. The Government has earmarked first oil for the end of 2020.
"Welding a pipeline for oil to flow through requires a lot of skill because you do not want any spills. Gas is inflammable," he said.
Oil and gas activities in Uganda are entering a critical stage as the country gets closer to first commercial oil production, more than 10 years since the 6.5 billion barrels of reserves were discovered.
The three anchor-projects for the industry, the Tilenga upstream project, the Kingfisher oilfield project and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, are in the final stages of Front-End Engineering Design (FEED).
After FEED results are released, final investment decisions will be taken, before the engineering, procurement and construction phase commences.