The outgoing Buliisa County Member of Parliament, Stephen Biraahwa Mukitale, has urged relevant banks to sensitise his constituents about a variety of financial issues that will enable them match with the trending oil and gas developments in the Albertine Graben.
Speaking at the customer engagement session organised by dfcu Bank, the legislator urged bankers to diversify their financial advice from merely educating people about steps involved in acquiring loans to teaching them how to save their earnings.
Mr Mukiatale said by adopting a saving culture, the people of Buliisa will be able to indirectly fit in the oil and gas industry that will come with opportunities that if not readied, they cannot tap.
“I hope dfcu Bank can sensitise the people in Buliisa not only on how to get loans but also on how to save their earnings. This will go a long way in strengthening the financial capabilities of the people of Buliisa. Also, as government, we are working to ensure that the local communities in the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) area are fully reimbursed.”
The National Content Manager, CNOOC Uganda, Mathew Kyaligonza, urged businesses to start writing proper national content plans if they are to stand a better chance at winning contracts in the EACOP.
dfcu Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Mathias Katamba, urged Ugandans to engage in businesses from which they will benefit when the construction of EACOP is complete, advising that the project should not be underrated for occupying a smaller part of the country.
He said seizing any opportunities coming with the EACOP is a contribution towards the success of the oil and gas industry.
“With the planned East African Crude Oil Pipeline, it is expected that the East African region will be transformed into a major oil player. While the $3.5b oil deal will see the 1,443 kilometre pipeline pump Uganda’s oil from the Albertine region to Tanzania’s Indian Ocean Seaport of Tanga, it is important to note that about 80 per cent of the pipeline will be on Tanzanian territory. So, as a country, we must make the most of the benefits from the work that will be carried out on the 20 per cent of the Pipeline on the Ugandan side. It will take businesses such as the ones in this room to see the possibilities, to seize the opportunities and be part of Uganda’s oil and gas success story.”
“As a Bank whose history is intertwined with the success stories of many businesses across different sectors in Uganda, it is our objective to provide financial solutions that will position our customers to fairly compete and win some of the contracts that will be available once the FID is signed,” added Mr Katamba.
The keynote speaker who is the Zoramu Consulting Group Chief Executive Officer and dfcu Bank Board Chairman, Jimmy Mugerwa noted that if various people and institutions position themselves well, the oil and gas sector has many opportunities that can drive development.
He said all players have an unlimited stake in the development of the oil and gas industry since it touches all sectors of the economy, encouraging participants to possess the requirements in order to engage in the development of the sector.
“The Final Investment Decision (FID) for oil production offers vast and massive possibilities for Uganda. Harnessed correctly, various sectors including banking, legal, construction, logistics and aviation, environment and industrial area development, stand to reap benefits from the country’s Oil and Gas Industry.
“If you’re a participant in the agriculture sector, you stand to gain from commercial agriculture, machinery, storage or food processing. If you’re in Housing, you can profit from provision of office or warehousing space. This industry offers stakeholders a multibillion stake. As a service provider, you must also understand the Expression of Interest process. There are legal, regulatory, resourcing and financial requirements that you must meet. Vendors need to ensure that they meet them before embarking on this journey.”
Mr James Musherure, the Senior National Content Officer in charge of Contracts at the Petroleum Authority of Uganda said:
“We have 600km of roads being done right now. We have an international airport which is almost 40 per cent underway. The vision is to bring people to work and fly out to take the Uganda products abroad. But we need certified people. Government through a legal framework is giving preference to Uganda companies. But Ugandan companies need to participate in supplier bids, and we encourage them to register to the National Supplier Database.”
This dfcu Bank engagement was for its customers and key stakeholders in the oil and gas sector aimed to share insights into the opportunities in the oil and gas sector post the FID.
The event brought together customers in the logistics, transport, construction, waste management sectors and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) with an interest in Environment Conservation and Protection.
Following the signing of oil agreements between Uganda and Tanzania on April 11, 2021, and with the FID for oil production now imminent, the project execution phase is expected to kick off shortly after with significant expenditure upstream, midstream, and downstream.