Buganda’s Prime Minister, Charles Peter Mayiga, concluded a fruitful 3-day field visit to Uganda’s oil and gas operational areas on July 19, 2023, expressing his satisfaction with the country’s development of its petroleum resources.
During his visit, he emphasized the importance of equitable distribution of the oil proceeds and highlighted the need for prioritizing the areas where the petroleum project is being developed.
While on his tour of the Kingfisher Development Project in Kikuube district, Katikkiro Mayiga commended CNOOC Uganda Ltd for their cooperation with the local communities. He stressed the need for transparency and for the positive impact of these initiatives to be tangible to the communities even after 30 years.
“I have seen first-hand how the Oil Company [CNOOC Uganda Ltd] relates with the people within the Kingfisher [Development] Project. The provision of safe drinking water, roads, quality education, and health care is quite commendable. But I implore the [Uganda] Petroleum Authority and [Uganda] National Oil Company to ensure that these projects have a positive impact on the lives of the people 30 years after today,” Katikkiro Mayiga said.
Katikkiro Mayiga was impressed to find that over 95% of the employees in Uganda’s oil and gas sector were Ugandans with qualifications in various fields. He praised their expertise and commitment to their country.
“Finding numerous Ugandan experts here was beyond my expectations, yet it brought me immense joy to discover that all these knowledgeable individuals are indeed proud sons and daughters of Uganda. Their expertise and unwavering commitment are truly admirable,” said Katikkiro Mayiga.
The Katikkiro also toured the Tilenga Project, operated by TotalEnergies E&P Uganda, and was briefed on the progress of the project.
Great progress has been made on both the Kingfisher and Tilenga projects, according to Mr. Alex Nyombi, the Director Development and Production at the PAU.
“We have been drilling since January 24th and we recently reached the oil reservoirs for the first wells drilled on well-pad 2 at the kingfisher, and we recently started drilling on the Jobi Ri 4 well-pad,” said Mr. Nyombi.
Katikkiro Mayiga also highlighted the need for increased publicity for the projects, urging the government to engage with the media to improve visibility. He emphasized that many Ugandans are unaware of the opportunities and developments in the oil and gas sector.
“I have noticed that many Ugandans don’t know what is going on here. We have even heard of reports that Uganda’s oil has been stolen and is being ferried in tracks, but this is false. PAU and UNOC need to engage more with media channels that are watched and listened to by many Ugandans,” Katikkiro Mayiga urged.
Mr. Ali Ssekatawa, the Director Legal and Corporate Affairs at the PAU, however revealed that plans were under implementation to engage more influential personalities and institutions to help promote Uganda’s oil and gas story and engage more with the media.
“We have listened to the Katikkiro’s advice, and we shall take it forward. This is part of the plan to improve stakeholder engagements. We had the House of Bishops last month and now we have the most influential person in Buganda, so these will now become our ambassadors of good will having seen what is on ground,” noted Mr. Ssekatawa.
Additionally, Mayiga recognized the opportunities for Ugandan farmers created by the completion of the Kabalega International Airport. He suggested that trade and agriculture agencies should plan for the export of agricultural products to nearby countries such as Gabon and Angola.
“There is need for planning what these cargo planes are going to ferry out of Uganda. I was meant to understand that countries like Gabon and Angola are just four hours away from the Kabalega International airport and these countries import food,” Katikkiro Mayiga advised.
The purpose of the field visit, organized by the PAU in collaboration with the UNOC, was to provide the Katikkiro and Buganda Kingdom officials with a better understanding of the current developments in Uganda’s petroleum sector.