Presidential aspirant Patrick Amuriat Oboi has promised to give Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom at least 5 percent of oil revenues should he be elected into power. Oboi, who is standing on the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party ticket, last week combed several districts in Bunyoro in his presidential campaign trail.
On Thursday November 27, 2020, paid a courtesy visit to Bunyoro Kitara kingdom and later launched his manifesto for 2021 - 2026 in Hoima city.
"Bunyoro is an oil-rich part of the country, but the region may not benefit from the wealth that is underground here. Oil must benefit the people of Bunyoro where it originates, from instead of a few of a few people taking advantage of it," he said after paying a courtesy visit to the kingdom. He pledged to offer at least percent of the revenues from the petroleum industry to Bunyoro Kitara kingdom.
He noted that oil is a major resource that if well utilized has potential to develop Bunyoro region which has been neglected for decades. Oboi also decried the rampant land grabbing in the region mainly fueled by speculation triggered by the oil discovery of oil and gas.
Oboi was received by the Kingdom's administrator Alex Katusabe. However, for him to fulfill his pledge, he will have to first push for an amendment to the Public Finance Management Act, 2015.
Under the Public Finance Management Act, 2015, only 1 percent of the royalties from the petroleum industry is allocated to a gazetted cultural or tradition institution in oil producing districts. The same Act, gives 6 percent of the royalties to local governments in the oil producing areas.
Since 2010, Bunyoro Kingdom has been angry with the central government over sharing of oil revenues.
In 2011, the Kingdom's cabinet petitioned central government demanding for at least 10 percent of oil revenues. In 2012, the Omukama of Bunyoro Solomon Gafabusa Iguru, stormed parliament and demanded for 12.5 percent of oil revenues to the kingdom.
Royalties is one of the revenues streams from the petroleum industry others being signature bonuses, taxes, rents, profits from government participation among others.
On his part, independent presidential aspirant Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde pledged to resolve the impasse between Bunyoro kingdom and the central government over sharing of oil revenues. Tumukunde was also on his company trail in the region last week.
"I have quite deep knowledge on oil and gas matters. I will have a special discussion with the people of Bunyoro, in particular to resolve these matters, between them and central government to make sure that they are beneficiaries of what God created in their area (oil and gas)," Tumukunde said.