Masindi district council speaker, Moses Kiirya has condemned President Yoweri Museveni for telling people to stop talking about oil that was discovered in Albertine region. On several occasions, President Yoweri Museveni has warned people against talking about oil while encouraging Ugandans to concentrate on agriculture.
Speaking during Albertine regional stakeholders’ reflection and planning meeting for oil development held at Kabalega resort hotel in Masindi town that was organized by International Alert on 13th December 2016, Kiirya said that, oil is a national resource and stakeholders have justification to talk about it because people have to be strategized on how to befit from oil.
Kiirya noted that, much as people within Bunyoro region have tried to prepare to benefit from oil through building facilities like hotels among others, local people are not given contracts by the oil companies.
Currently there are three oil companies operating in the Albertine region and they include; Total E&P Uganda, Tullow Pty Uganda and China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) that formed joint partnership to explore and produce oil with each company having 33.3% shares.
On the other hand, James Mulindambura Mugennyi, the secretary for health and Education in Hoima district observed a need for upgrading all roads within Bunyoro because vehicles used in petroleum industry are too heavy since they carry bulky machines hence wearing off roads very fast.
In response, Ronald Goboola, the national content officer in the ministry of energy and mineral development concurred that indeed oil is a national resource that is beneficial not only to the people in Albertine region but all Ugandans but also categorically stated that, there is affirmative action for putting infrastructure in areas where oil activities are taking place.
“That is why government tarmacked Hoima-Kaiso road and there are plans to construct Hoima Biiso; Masindi-Biiso to Buliisa roads among others”, he explained. Goboola also disclosed that, within next few years, projects worth $20 billion (shs7 trillion) will be invested in the country during oil production phase.
Goboola said that, people can benefit from oil in three ways; waiting to enjoy from infrastructure put in place like good hospitals, roads, communication facilities among others and the second way is jobs for the educated and lastly service provision like those in hotel industry. “Government with support from the oil companies will soon establish an industrial development center to equip people who will work in oil sector with necessary skills”, the national content officer added.