President Yoweri Museveni has asked Uganda Petroleum Institute – Kigumba (UPIK) to present its full development plan because the government has the money to support it.
The President made the call while commissioning new infrastructure projects undertaken by the institute on Saturday. UPIK, with funding from the World Bank and the government of Uganda, undertook a $32m infrastructure development including staff houses that the president commissioned.
“I really want to tell you that the problem here is bad planning by the overall government structure because this money that we are talking about, the $32 million which has been invested is not such a big amount of money given the importance of Kigumba Petroleum Institute,” the President said.
He said Government should plan well and prioritise investing in lucrative projects that will generate billions of dollars for the country in a few years to come.
“The question is how many oil projects do you have? We have only one in Mwitanzige (Lake Albert) Valley. It's the project we have that will give us billions of dollars in a few years’ time and it needs support of training which we planned Kigumba Institute should provide that,” he added.
“Even if we are to spend $50 million, 60 or even $100 million to make Kigumba Petroleum Institute a world class training centre, we shall do it. We have the money. Yes we have got very many needs, some want money to eat. We can constrain that. We can say stop travelling. Tell the civil servants, the MPs, the politicians to stop travelling abroad; money is being wasted in external travel and here Kigumba is crying for money！
President Museveni also disclosed that it was Uganda under the NRM Government that started the initiative of training people in petroleum in the whole of Africa.
“The people we sent abroad to train in petroleum are the ones who discovered oil here. They came and showed me on the computer. That is how they started now to look for these companies because we didn't have the money to dig but already, we knew the location of the oil,” he said.
“If you have that history of pioneering, let's also pioneer in this Education here by having a world-class petroleum training centre and later alone you can have other aspects of energy like solar and biogas. We can add them later. So, please let us get the full plan. We shall support it because it is unique. You cannot compare it with external travel and allowances inside Uganda. We can freeze all that and have this like we have done for other things.”
The First Lady also Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni， said the Skilling Uganda Strategic Plan aims to skill Ugandans and unlock their potential for productivity.
Since then, the education ministry has been implementing various projects towards the achievement of that goal and interventions within these projects have led to improved infrastructure, systems and processes in the delivery of technical and vocational education training in this country.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports, Kate Lamaro, said the commissioned facilities were very significant to the government's journey of transforming skills development in the country.
“UPIK is earmarked to be transformed into a Centre of Excellence for oil and gas-related training. This is in line with the Skilling Uganda strategy and plan which strongly advocates for building centres of excellence to supply manpower for specific economic sectors,” Lamaro said.