The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) Uganda Ltd – one of the Joint Venture Partners (JVP) in Uganda’s oil and gas sectors has rolled out a-three-month training for Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers in Bunyoro Sub-region.
Ms Aminah Bukenya, the CNOOC Media and Publicity Manager, says the training launched on Friday is expected to cater for the estimated transportation needs which shall in turn build the capacities and capabilities of the Ugandan citizens in this skill.
She says more female drivers are participating in this skill.
“The training has enabled positive discrimination for female candidates who have been selected as the primary beneficiaries of this programme through a partnership with the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom,” she says.
Ms Bukenya says four women are part of the total 70 participants in this HGV driver training who will learn the key issues in dealing with Heavy Good Vehicle driving in accordance with the East African Community (EAC) curriculum.
“This three-month programme provides interactive forum for instructors to share, explore and discuss concepts and issues of HGV driving and road safety,” she says.
The training is part of the extensive Industrial Baseline Survey (IBS) which was commissioned by the three JVPs including CNOOC Uganda Ltd, TotalEnergies and Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) to promote national content in the development and production phases.
The IBS was done to determine and align potential demand of the planned projects for goods and services with the Ugandan market to deliver them.
Ms Bukenya says Transportation & Logistics (Goods) was identified as one of the 25 industries with relatively high benefits and feasibility for national content development.
Transportation is also among the goods and services to be provided by Ugandan companies, Ugandan citizens and registered entities as detailed in the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) (National Content) Regulations, 2016.
“This selection of trainees in this particular cohort was undertaken in partnership with Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom that supported the identification and selection process together with the implementing service provider – Uganda Driving Standards Agency,” Ms Bukenya says.
She says the partnership with the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom was aimed at positive discrimination for potential beneficiaries from Bunyoro sub-region which hosts the Kingfisher Project.
Ms Irene Busiinge, one of the female beneficiaries welcomes the initiative and expresses optimism in learning the skills.
“We are happy with this initiative, we are thankful to the oil and gas companies who are going to train us in these skills which shall enable us participate in the oil and gas sector especially after FID (Final Investment Decision),” she says.
Mr Zakalia Lubega, the Head of Corporate Affairs at CNOOC Uganda Ltd, says that “Industrial Baseline Survey highlighted 100,000 to 150,000 indirect and direct jobs. We believe that this is one of the mechanisms to identify ways to bridge the gaps to maximise national content participation especially during the development and production phases of the project.”
Mr Andrew Byakutaaga Ateenyi, the Omuhikirwa (Prime Minister of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, says that “Skilling our people is one of the avenues through which they can tap into local content opportunities. This programme is another success in the cordial working relationship with CNOOC Uganda Limited.”