Uganda: Gen Saleh - Are Local Firms Ready for Uganda's Oil Boom or They Are Sleeping?

10 January 2022
Nile Post News (Kampala)

The coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation, General Caleb Akandwanaho aka Salim Saleh, has wondered whether local firms are ready to harness the opportunities that will come with oil exploration.

Saleh made the remarks during the annual Uganda National Oil and Gas symposium held at Makerere University last week.

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The general asked participants to undertake a self-evaluation to determine whether Ugandan companies are ready to take advantage of the massive investments that the industry expects in the Albertine region and along the pipeline route.

"How much of this money will be retained in our economy? How prepared are our food companies, our transport and logistics companies, our security companies, our engineering and consultancy companies for this massive investment that is going to take place in the Albertine region?" he asked.

According to Uganda National Oil Company's Commercial Specialist, Edith Tushabe Atuhurira, for every US$ 1 invested in the petroleum industry, there is a trickle down of US$ 9 into other sectors of the economy. She therefore called upon Ugandans and Ugandan companies to prepare accordingly and ensure to benefit from the ongoing investments in the petroleum industry and the trickle down that comes along with it.

Makerere Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe applauded the industry for making huge strides in 2021 and noted that the next phase of the industry will provide the academia, government and private sector with international industry exposure and a good avenue to learn new things.

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Ruth Nankabirwa, the minister for Energy and Mineral Development said that her line ministry is training suppliers in an effort to equip them with knowledge and the required standards to enable them participate and benefit from the oil sector.

She said they are working towards establishment of a Local Content development fund to provide seed capital to SMEs and farmers to enable them supply goods and services to Uganda's Oil and Gs industry.

Nankabirwa explained that the government efforts in skilling Ugandans is based on the fact that the Oil sector will create direct, indirect and induced employment to Ugandans.

The symposium was attended by industry experts from the Uganda National Oil Company, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Petroleum Authority of Uganda, Total Energies E&P Uganda, CNOOC Uganda Limited, Cristal Advocates, Stanbic Bank, Absa Bank and Connexus Oil and Gas among others.

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