Business community challenged to observe standards in oil industry

The Managing Director Equity Bank Uganda, Mr Samuel Kirubi, (C) chats with some members of the Albertine Oil and Gas Suppliers Association at Hoima Resort Hotel.

The business community in the Albertine region has been challenged to work towards improving their standards if they are to benefit from the oil and gas related developments in their locality.

The comment was made by the Managing Director for Equity Bank Uganda, Mr Samuel Kirubi, during an engagement with the business community at Hoima Resort Hotel on zoom.

Mr Kirubi said that Equity Bank is committed to funding oil and gas related ventures in the Albertine region though they could not dismiss the fact that standards is crucial in the industry regardless of whether one has the source of finances or not.

“Much as we can fund your ventures, the business viability for financing is determined by standards as one of the parameters alongside trustworthy of the company operators and partnerships,” he said.

He added that Equity Bank has allocated $4b equivalent to about Shs400t to finance oil and gas related businesses in the country.

“This financing aims to solve the financial capacity challenges and build the capacity of local business entities to engage multinational conglomerates in a capital-intensive oil business that cares about stands,” added Mr Kirubi.

An individual entity will be able to secure finances amounting to as high as $400m, according to Mr Kirubi.  Agricultural ventures are also among the target areas of financing.

Audio: Kirubi on finances (English)

He also advised the business fraternity to embrace use of technology since almost all business transactions are going electronic in order to save time and money.

The business community under their umbrella – Albertine Oil and Gas Suppliers Association highlighted the need to keep information flowing if the local communities are to benefit from the industry that looks complex.

Mr Edgar Agaba, the Director of Spice Media Services said there is need for bankers and other stakeholders to simplify their language for the local businessmen to understand the strategies to tap into the available opportunities that many remain un-aware of.

“We are working consolidate ourselves to be able to supply goods and services in the oil industry. We are at different levels of understanding and appreciating the oil industry but the fact is that many of our people do to have enough information and need to be continuously sensitized if they are to benefit,” he said.

Mr Julius Biingi a.k.a. Kawiiso, the association chairperson called upon businesses in the Albertine region to register their businesses and proceed to seek recognition by the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) on the National Supplier Database (NSD).

“Since we are young companies, they are encouraging us to get registered if we are to secure the financing and business opportunities in the oil industry. So far, we are only 10 companies including Animal Club Events, Hoima Resort Hotel, De Venue and Spice Media Services,” said Mr Biingi.

The Head of Corporate Affairs at the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC)Uganda Limited, Mr Zakalia Lubega, said that they are committed to empowering local companies and individuals to participate in the oil industry.

The opportunities that include construction, welding, supply of food and hospitality services have their sources in different oil projects underway and forthcoming in the Albertine region ahead of oil production.

The Tilenga Project development in Buliisa district, the oil refinery in Hoima district, the Kingfisher project in Kikuube and Hoima districts and the feeder pipelines are hoped to generate more than 150,000 employment opportunities aside from the contracts.

The most challenging issue ahead of the local communities in the Albertine region has been inadequate capacity to enable them meet the required quality and quantity.

Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister for Tourism, Mr John Apollo Rwamparo, asked the stakeholders to develop and utilise the tourism advantages alongside the oil industry.

“As a kingdom, we welcome any entity that boosts the businesses of our people. We commit to always give you all the necessary support. We want the tourism industry to grow alongside the oil industry,” said Mr Rwamparo.


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