Kayla Namulondo

Kayla Namulondo

Why Stakeholders Are Ecstatic About Uganda’s EITI Ambition

Uganda becoming a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a development stakeholders hope will bring about accountability in the management of natural resources – particularly the extractives sector.

The move is also expected to deal with the secrecy government has shown when dealing with oil and gas companies and mining companies. The decision for Uganda to make the EITI membership was announced On Monday the 28th January, 2019, after cabinet approval.

Government spokesperson, Mr Ofwono Opondo, said accession of Uganda to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative is intended to improve the revenue collection process and boost public finances and minimise oil, gas and mining revenues being mismanaged or lost to corruption.

“The country will benefit through improved investment climate by giving a clear signal to investors and international financial institutions that the government is committed to improving transparency, which in turn can lead to increased investment in the country,” Mr Opondo said.

The weekly Independent Magazine quotes the executive director of Petroleum Authority of Uganda, Dr. Earnest Rubondo, saying that they are bound by the EITI requirements. He committed that it will not be hard for the Authority to ensure accountability and Transparency as per the EITI requirements.

In another report, the Independent reported that the Head of European Union Mission in Uganda, H.E. Ambassador Attilio Pacifici, had commended Uganda’s EITI decision explaining that the move is a critical step in promoting transparency. "This decision is a crucial step for improved accountability as the country prepares for oil production,” H.E. Amb. Pacifici said.

Stakeholders have been urging the country to take up EITI membership will no positive response from government. This brought restlessness in the sector as government continued to negotiate key contracts will oil and mining companies to explore and produce the country’s natural resources.

In 2015, Global Rights Alert (GRA), a human rights- civil society organization based in Kampala, launched ‘Our Oil Our Future’ campaign to encourage the government of Uganda to improve transparency in the governance of oil and other mineral resources by signing onto the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative.

The campaign sought to collect 1000 signatures from the public with each signature petitioning President Yoweri Museveni to subscribe to EITI so that the government and oil companies open up on their transaction to allow citizens follow the transactions. The campaign flopped as it was ignored by government.

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Standard guides countries in setting up effective mechanisms so that citizens can know what companies are paying to government, and what government officially receives from companies.

At the launch of campaign, Ms. Winfred Ngabiirwe, the executive director of GRA, in an interview explained that once the public is able to trace the money exchanging hands between government and companies, Ugandans are able to monitor and know if they are getting the services they deserve.

Four years later, and a series of continued lobbying from civil society and government agencies like finance ministry and Auditor General’s office, government is opening up to the idea of the public monitoring its dealing with usually powerful and usually international companies.

This has been received well by civil society and public. In an ecstatic statement released shortly after government announcing the decision for Uganda to join EITI, the Civil Society Coalition on Oil and Gas in Uganda (CSCO) and Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) described accession of Uganda to EITI as a milestone towards achieving transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining sectors.

They said the accession will improve investment climate, improve revenue collection, minimize corruption and promote accountability. The initiative requires governments and companies to publish and reconcile data on oil, gas and mining revenues.

“According to the National Planning Authority (NPA) as highlighted in the National Development Plan 2 (NDP II), revenues from oil, gas and mining are projected to play a pivotal role in steering the country’s economic growth to a middle income status. Efforts such as the EITI mechanism which are geared towards transparency and accountability in the extractives industry will go a long way in ensuring that Ugandans optimize the benefits from these natural resources,” the CSOs said in a joint statement.

Finance minister Hon. Matia Kasaija commented that the decision to join EITI was informed by appreciation of the values that EITI promotes in regard to disclosure of information in the extractive sector. “Initiatives such as EITI that emphasise transparency have the potential to strengthen the efforts of government in ensuring overall transparency in the sector, strengthen tax collection, improve investment climate, build trust and create long-lasting value of petroleum resources,” Kasaija said.

Study These Oil & Gas Courses At Victoria University

Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) together with International Oil Companies (IOCs) are preparing to start production of Uganda’s oil and gas.   Other agencies are helping Ugandans build capacity to work in the restrictive industry.

However, as an individual, you can help yourself and look for places where you can acquire the skills set needed to participate in the oil and gas sector. Public and private universities have rolled a number of courses to train Ugandans who want to work in the industry.

One such university is Victoria University Kampala. To smoothly do this, the university up a fully-fledged petroleum department to deliver courses and skills learners need to start a career in the oil and gas sector. These are some of the courses the department offers.

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN OIL & GAS ACCOUNTING

The BSc in Oil and Gas Accounting is a course designed to develop specialized knowledge and skills specifically for an accounting career in the oil and gas industry. It offers a blend of theory, experience and the practical skills required for effective financial accounting and management within the industry.

The course will enable students to develop a critical awareness of the key issues in accounting for upstream oil and gas exploration, development and production activities, and is delivered by respected academics with relevant industry experience.

The three year course in oil and gas accounting will enable students to develop a critical awareness of the key issues in accounting for upstream oil and gas exploration, development and production activities.

Studies in oil and gas accounting will prepare graduates to measure and analyse the income, costs, sources and uses of funds of oil companies at different levels of the oil and gas value chain on the basis of certain generally accepted principles.

Such measurements and analyses are helpful to those directly responsible for attaining production, marketing and financial objectives along the value chain.

INTRODUCTION TO THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY

The course, delivered over a period of six weeks, is designed to provide oil and gas professionals the opportunity to gain a technical and commercial understanding of the industry fundamentals.

 

Participants will be introduced to the scientific origins of oil and gas; the commercial issues underpinning hydrocarbon exploration and development; the role of government and its agencies; oil and gas terminology; the technological process of exploration;  the  technological  process  of  drilling;  health  and  safety issues, environmental a management; and the technological process of production among others.

CERTIFICATE IN OIL AND GAS SUPPLY CHAIN AND LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT

This course, also delivered over a period of six months, focuses on an overview of logistics and procurement management in the oil, and gas industry based on the concept of supply chain management (SCM).

The course will enable participants to gain a broad perspective of the oil & gas upstream, midstream and downstream operations through the concept of supply chain value management to improve economics, safety, and environmental considerations; and to: boost their understanding of competitive and strategic supply chain operations such as oil & gas production, shipping, refining, storage, demand forecasting, contracts, prices, distribution, sales, etc.

CERTIFICATE IN HSE MANAGEMENT IN OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY

The course gives an introduction to the health, safety and environ-mental challenges encountered in the oil and gas industry.  It  provides  an  insight  into  the  main  drivers  of  the  regulatory  frame-work that govern compliance in this sector and their importance in Protecting people, assets and the environment.

Participants will study the main environmental impacts of the oil and gas cycle, from exploration to abandonment/decommissioning and develop an appreciation of the key functions of environmental management frameworks.

Attention will also be paid to the development and application of environmental and health management systems as an integral parts of the oil and gas business frameworks

ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT & MANAGEMENT

This course provides an introduction to the theoretical and practical aspects of the start-up and management of SMEs. At the end of this course, the participants will be able to describe best practices for facilitating the easy setting up of business targets, monitoring of business results and continuous improvement, outline the links between SME business development, entrepreneurship and leadership, illustrate stakeholder identification and integration strategies, gain knowledge and skills to enable them Cite methodology and tools for enterprise strategic, financial and production planning and outline means of improving capacity for trade, investments, and access to market.

CERTIFICATION OF THESE COURSES

The oil and gas courses offered at Victoria University come with a practical aspect where students are taken on fields and helped get internship placements.

The university has harvested key partnerships with international university like UK’s Coventry University with whom they signed a MoU to collaborate and coordinate an oil and gas project with Ministry Of Education and Sports called Twinning for Curriculum Development, International Accreditation, Adaption and Training in Petroleum Related Construction Trades at Uganda Technical Collage Kicwamba. 

“In the long term, we hope that Coventry University together with the education ministry will also accredit all the oil and gas short courses at Victoria University,” Dr. Drake Kyarimpa, the coordinator of oil and gas training at Victoria University in July interview.

Victoria University Welcomes New Students At Fresher’s Ball

The partying mood was on Saturday evening as Victoria University Kampala welcomed new students at a pompous fresher’s ball which was held at Kampala Parents School in Naguru, a Kampala suburb under the theme dynamic duo.

The fresher’s ball started as early as 6pm on a laydown Saturday evening before the energetic students fired it up to hype the tempo and vibe. Food and drinks were on the house to further fine tune the evening. The guild president Maria Peggy Nabunya welcomed the new students to Victoria University.

Namugerwa Sherry, a Bachelor of tourism and hotel management student said she chose Victoria University because it is international and it is not congested with very many students. “I love where it is located, in the middle of the city and academically it is a good university. Lecturers come on time and they never miss lectures,”

“I expect a lot from this University for example during internship, especially for my course, it is easy to get a placement in the Ruparalia Group and Speke Group of Hotels. It is easy to get a job after graduating,” She said.

Placid Mubito, a student from Rwanda, said when he reached at Victoria University, he was emotionally touched by the quality of services provided by the University.

Mubito who is studying Social work and social administration degree said he was inspired to join Victoria University by testimonies from students who have studied from the University.

"Victoria University is going to help me to improve my skills as a social worker because it is what i have been doing in my country Rwanda and here in Uganda. Also, Victoria University reaches out to the community, it is a good place to practice what you learn. The way they teach is motivating.” Mubito said in an interview.

Nakayiza Market: Feeding Uganda & Beyond

Under normal circumstances, man has to eat food and drink water to survive and in cases of not accessing food, such a person falls sick, weakens and eventually dies. This makes food an important aspect in a man’s life. While it is easy for rural dwellers to access food as they have farms and gardens, people in urban centers have to rely on markets.

One such market is Nakayiza Market Kisenyi, an agro produce market, located at Kafumbe Mukasa Rd. The complex with over 600 shops is owned by Haruna Sentongo's real estate company called Haruna Enterprise.

Speaking to this news website in an exclusive interview, Isaac Newton, a property manager at Haruna enterprises said they specialized in farm and agro produce so that people who buy and sell farm produce could have a place they call home.

“Our tenants only deal in farm produce. They sell all types of food which they buy from different parts of the country,” Newton said. “Many of them have milling machines in Kisenyi where they process foods like maize and other flours.”

At Nakayiza, you can get rice, beans, soya, maize flour, millet and sorghum, cereals and other which they buy locally. Some food items are imported into the country. These are sold locally while some is shipped for export to other parts of the world.

Newton said some of the people who come to Nakayiza to buy farm produce include international humanitarian organization like UN, WFP and others. Others are large companies like schools, hospitals among others.

As a market, Nakayiza complex has enough toilets, constant water supply, electricity and standby generators, waste management, security, parking and commercial bank which save money for traders.  

 

Subscribe to this RSS feed

Kampala