In June 2021, Mr. Andrew Oluka, a Ugandan lawyer, filed a motion against the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) and two International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Uganda – Total E&P Uganda Limited and CNOOC Uganda Limited.
Mr. Oluka alleges that the ongoing procurement processes for the oil and gas projects in Uganda are denying Ugandans economic rights to participate in the projects.
On 30th July, 2021, the PAU filed a response in Court which denies the allegations and emphasises the following:
a. The monitoring and regulation of National Content requirements is the mandate of the PAU. This mandate does not violate any economic rights, as alleged;
b. From 2017 to 2020, the IOCs spent a total of USD 171,930,742 on procurement of various goods and services from Ugandan companies, representing 37% of the money invested in the industry in that period. This demonstrates that Ugandans have benefited from the petroleum projects, so far, and refutes the allegation that all contracts are being given to foreign companies.
c. The PAU ensures that priority is given to Ugandan entities in procurement of goods and services. However, where Ugandan entities are unable to provide the goods and services, joint ventures between Ugandan entities and foreign companies are considered. International companies are only considered in the absence of both;
d. The calls for tender and expressions of interest issued by the IOCs emphasise the need for bidders to comply with National Content laws;
e. The PAU oversees the IOC procurement processes and assesses bid evaluation reports to ensure that the procurements meet the National Content requirements. Regarding the contract in question, the IOCs duly submitted the national content requirements, which will be strictly monitored by the PAU during implementation; and,
f. The claims are generic and do not relate to an appeal on a specific procurement in which the applicant participated.
The PAU remains committed to monitoring and regulating the National Content requirements of the oil and gas projects, in a transparent and objective manner.