17 December 2012

Uganda: President Warns Lawmakers Over Oil Sabotage

Kampala — Members of parliament who were bribed to sabotage government from passing of the oil Exploration Development and Production Bill 2012 may end up in courts of law if the, Ombudsman, the Inspector General of Government implement what the president has ordered.

While in his address to the Parliament last week, the president said that some MPs were bribed by some international oil companies and local NGOs not to pass the Oil Bill which gives the Minister a power licensing and cancelling oil companies.

According to the President, the accused MPs who will face the IGG were bribed during seminars which the NGOs conducted for them in various hotels around the country

"At Munyonyo alone (a city resort) Ush 1.5billion (US$577,000) was spent on an oil seminar where does that money comes from? That is why I have written to the IGG about this issue because it contradicts with the leadership code of conduct for any one not to declare any gift of economic value," Museven said.

The Code spells out clearly, that any gift of financial value, beyond $100(Ush260,000) should be declared. Failure to do it can lead to prosecution by the office of the IGG

Museveni observed that those Mps who tried to obstract parliament from passing the Bill are against the development of the country because, as head of state, he wants to see that the country starts producing oil and earn revenue to support both social and economic activities for the country.

"When oil comes, the government will be in position to fund projects like Uganda's free education, constructing more roads and also improving the health sector. But when i see mature people like MPs sabotaging the passing of the Bill, I see real economic saboteurs of the country," the visibly angry president explained.

Some of the MPs whom the president mentioned and wants to be investigated include, Theodore Ssekikubo, Winfred Niwagaba and Abdu Katuntu.

Museven said the named MPs in conjunction with some NGOs organized various workshops aimed at implanting wrong information about the bill to their fellow MPs which delayed the bill's passing and this has delayed county's delayed production of oil.

Although the president finally addressed the House, majority of the opposition MPs did not attend the session because they were dissatisfied with the Oil bill which gives the Minister what they call "A lot of power"

Many MPS wanted government to entrust all the powers concerning the licensing and revoking of oil production Incense to the to the Petroleum Authority.

On whether the government will built its own refinery the president told Legislators that there will be refinery in Uganda this will help the country to earn more from its oil rather than exporting crude oil to developed countries as its in other African Countries particularly in West Africa

"When we refine our oil locally here in Uganda this will offer a lot of economic advantages to the country because many Jobs will be created since many industries will be opening up in the country to manufacture products associated with oil "he said

What are some of the positive impact when the country refined its oil according to experts in the oil sector Uganda stands high chances of seeing factories that manufacture Agro chemicals developing, Fuel oil power generation companies that generates thermal power, Plastic industry will also develops not for getting also lowering the cost of Roads construction because bitumen one of the input for roads construction contractors uses oil for its production

"Yes the present is right when he say that the country will not export crude oil the resource has the capacity to transform the country's economy because refining it hear its associated with a lot of positive output for the country like Uganda," said a source associated with oil issues.

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