Bunyoro to “feel financial gap” as CNOOC suspends Empango sponsorship

A cultural troupe performing Runyege-a love dance at Bunyoro’s annual Empango festival at Karuziika palace in Hoima Town on June 11, 2019.

The Special Assistant In charge of Culture in the office of the Prime Minister of Bunyoro-Kitara kingdom, has expressed a financial vacuum that will be felt in preparing the annual Empango celebrations.

Hajj Burhan Kyakuhaire’s expression follows China National Offshore Oil (CNOOC’S) suspension of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the area this year including sponsoring Empango fetes.

Kyakuhaire told this website on Wednesday that CNOOC has been among the oil Joint Venture Companies (JVC) that have been pivotal in contributing financial assistance towards the success of the celebrations. “Definitely, the kingdom will feel the monetary gap.

This is because CNOOC has also been central in contributing colossal sums of money backing Empango celebrations in the kingdom,” he said.

However, Kyakuhaire said the kingdom duty bearers also know the company’s business perspective that does not aim to incur losses in its operations.

He added that the cultural institution is interested in CNOOC realising profits to enable it continue funding kingdom activities in future once a favourable Final Investment Decision (FID) is made.

He appreciated the recognition and contribution CNOOC has accorded to the kingdom. The kingdom official asserted that the Chinese company has added a step further towards the development of the cultural institution.

“But, the kingdom appreciates the contribution that CNOOC has rendered towards the development of the cultural institution; as we wait for their FID.

The kingdom does not want CNOOC to incur any losses from its oil venture, but to make profits so that it continues partnering with the kingdom to cause development in the area,” he said.

On Monday this week, the CNOOC Community Liaison Manager, David Kagoro Byaruhanga announced to Civil Society Organisations and the press that the company has suspended its CSR including sponsoring Empango celebrations, the Amasaza Tournament and awarding the best academic performers in Hoima and Kikuube districts.

He said that the company had not yet reached the FID, so, engaging in such events at an early project stage could plunge it into unpredictable financial crisis.

CNOOC is among the three oil companies under the JVC developing oil projects in the Albertine Graben. Others are Tullow Oil and Total E&P.

Last year, the trio contributed more than Shs30m towards Empango celebrations, revealed Kyakuhaire.


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