President Yoweri Museveni has condemned in the strongest terms some NGOs and their agents who are trying to derail the oil production programme in Uganda. The President was this afternoon addressing Parliament and the nation at large in a speech in which he explained the steps the NRM government took to avoid the mistakes other oil producing countries in Africa made that led to what is known as the “oil curse”.
Mr. Museveni who on behalf of the government extended his profound condolences to the Speaker of Parliament, the Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga, upon the death of her father, disclosed that some of those NGOs have been holding workshops and seminars in different parts of the country inviting their agents who include, among others, leaders of this nation to discuss the oil project. He said the participants of the meetings are then given one million shillings for attendance and the facilitators pocket Shs.5 million shillings. He stressed that actions of such pessimists and maligners must be stopped at all costs.
The President, accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Janet Museveni who is also the Minister for Karamoja Affairs, detailed the actions the NRM government took to avoid mistakes that some oil producing countries in Africa made, pointing out that Uganda, by virtue of her own scientists, was the first to discover oil in the African Rift Valley that extends from the Red Sea to Malawi in the South to Lake Albert in the North using aero-magnetic survey. He, therefore, pointed out that it was tantamount to sacrilege for some agents of foreign interests to insult patriots and scientists who discovered the oil adding that their actions were unforgivable and unacceptable.
The President said the first step the NRM Government took was to ensure a win- win Petroleum Sharing Agreement with the oil companies, emphasize the use of our own oil experts that the government trained, ensuring that the Associated-Gas that was discovered alongside petroleum, is properly utilized but not flared and making sure that a refinery is built in Uganda to avoid unnecessary costs in using pipelines for the transportation of crude oil to the refinery, exporting employment opportunities as well as petroleum by-products. Mr. Museveni added that other mistakes the NRM government deliberately avoided included the “stabilization clause” where the profitability level was calculated and agreed on with the oil companies, ensuring environment protection and auxiliary services provided by Ugandans.
President Museveni emphasized that the revenue from the oil will strictly be used for creating a durable capacity in the area of electricity, to revamp the railway system, supporting scientific research and innovation as well as stabilizing the agricultural sector by providing irrigation systems for future generations to benefit. He stressed that the oil revenue will not be used for consumption. The President told the August House that overseas investments owned by the government will be another strategy to generate resources even after the oil is exhausted. He disclosed that the same will apply to other minerals like iron ore and uranium deposits that he has directed not to be mined until the country is ready for their exploration.
On the oil policy, President Museveni informed legislators and the nation that NRM formulated a comprehensive oil and gas policy to guide the management of the sector. He explained that the Minister with the aid of oil experts would implement the Oil Bill that the House passed. Regarding corruption, President Museveni assured the House that the NRM government that has won all battles against wrong elements in the country will also ably wipe out corruption in Uganda.
He pledged to update them and the nation on the fight against the vice. President Museveni later wished all Members of Parliament a merry Christmas and a happy new year of 2013.
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