Kayla Namulondo

Kayla Namulondo

Uganda Registers Weak Performance On NRGI Extractives Governance Index

The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) 2017 Resource Governance Index released Wednesday reveals that Uganda performs poorly in controlling corruption, revenue management, implementation of laws and value realization in the oil and gas sector. Uganda achieved its highest index score in providing an enabling environment for investment.

The index also pointed to a gap between the country’s laws and implementation. This gap, the report says, is a result of not publishing environmental impact assessments and mitigation plans, as required by the Petroleum Upstream Act and National Environment Management Act.

Given the remote and environmentally sensitive location of the Ugandan oil blocks, this lack of sharing of information with the general public and local communities has exacerbated concerns about petroleum governance.

The 2017 RGI assesses how 81 resource-rich countries govern their oil, gas and mineral wealth. The index composite score is made up of three components. Two measure key characteristics of the extractives sector – value realization and revenue management – and a third captures the broader context of governance — the enabling environment.

Uganda’s oil and gas sector scores 44 of 100 in the 2017 Resource Governance Index (RGI), placing it 51st among 89 assessments in the index. Uganda scored 42/100 for value realization, 42 /100 for revenue management, 23/100 for control of corruption and 47 /100 enabling environment, a performance described as weak on the scorecard.

The Natural Resource Governance Institute is however upbeat because ‘reforms are under way, aiming to address the poor or failing performance of the oil and gas sector’s licensing regime, state-owned enterprise (SOE) and revenue management, so that Uganda can create better governance conditions before it begins larger scale oil production.’

Uganda established new hydrocarbons laws covering the sector’s upstream in 2013 and covering revenue management in 2015. Beginning in the 2015–2016 fiscal year, Uganda reformed the procedure for granting oil and gas licenses, making it a competitive bidding process, aided by regulations to the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Act.

However, the regulations do not include requirements to publicly disclose key license allocation information, such as biddable terms. This, together with a lack of contract disclosure, is reflected in Uganda’s poor score for licensing.

The Uganda National Oil Company was founded in 2013 and officially incorporated in 2015 to manage the state’s participation in petroleum activities, including the marketing of the country’s share of petroleum received in kind from foreign production partners.

The NOC is still in the formative stages and has not yet engaged in many of the activities for which it was established. Financing arrangements are not yet finalized and debate on the most appropriate funding mechanism is ongoing.

Therefore no detailed statute has been published to guide regulation of the company or provide details on the relationship between the government’s oversight and management of the NOC. This is reflected in the NOC’s index ranking of fifth-to-last among 74 SOEs assessed.

 

These Apartments are changing the face of hospitality industry in Uganda

The real estate and hospitality sub sectors are going through a bumpy time having to deal with the economic shocks facing the country. These two are playing hard to survive by being responsive to the economic demands. Investment is hard to come by.

However the Ruparelia Group under the direction of Sudhir Ruparelia has managed to maneuver and is spearheading what we will call the ‘apartments revolution’. They are not just erecting structures but erecting modern building responding to the fashionable demands of customers.  

In this feature, we have profiled some of the uptown apartments constructed by one of the country’s richest man in the country Sudhir Ruparelia. These apartments are literally transforming the hospitality industry in the country as they are preferred destination for tourists, expats and classy Ugandans.

Speke Apartments

Speke Apartments specializes in self-catering apartments for corporate, leisure and family travellers in Kampala for short or long term lets. It combins a great location with a secure, quiet, clean, serviced apartment accommodation spread out over five floors. It is located at Plot No 19 - 21, Wampewo Avenue, Kololo, Kampala.

Speke Apartments, boosting of two and three bedroom apartments and penthouses, is the largest and most luxurious apartments in Uganda.  It has a mix of modern contemporary surroundings and a relaxing, laid back environment ensure that Speke Apartments is the finest choice for both business and pleasure accommodation.

Tagore Apartments

Tagore Apartments are fully serviced apartments in the heart of Kampala offering a home environment that is inviting and comfortable, for short and long term stays at very enjoyable experience.

It’s friendly and secure accommodation suits all guests, whether you are the business traveller that requires a standard apartment, travelling leisurely with your partner and require a luxuriously spacious apartment or have even taken the kids along for the ride and require family accommodation.

All Tagore Apartments guests enjoy complimentary membership for the duration of their stay at the luxurious Kabira Country Club which is a 10 minutes’ drive away. They are located at Mawanda Road in Kampala.

Bukoto Heights

Bukoto Heights apartments are fully furnished luxury apartment in the city of Kampala, offering elegance and comfort in a relaxed atmosphere in Kampala's northern suburb of Bukoto.

Bukoto Heights apartments is within close proximity of the Central Business District, with convenient access to all parts of the city, and essential social amenities, like shopping centers, prime residential and international diplomatic neighborhoods, international schools and the golf course in the heart of the city.

With stunning views of the greater Kampala cityscape, Bukoto Heights apartments combine gracious hospitality with contemporary style. The family run nature of the apartments delivers a truly personal service.

Kitante Apartments

Residing at Kitante Apartments comes with a home-like experience. It is a fully furnished with ample Parking Space and 24hrs guarded security.

If you are looking for a fully furnished apartment or accommodation for you, your family, or on an extended family, Kitante Apartments can meet all your long stay accommodation needs. It is beautiful, well maintained and fully furnished apartments for you at the best rates.

Hardware City

Located on plot 13 Entebbe Road, Hardware city is definitely one of the best buildings in Kampala and boasts of having the following first class amenities.

It is a prominent mixed use building with superb links to Kampala’s main arterial routes with excellent branding potential. It is good for setting up business dealing in construction material.

Kampala Boulevard

Kampala Boulevard is located opposite Posta Uganda on plot 22, 24, 26 along Kampala road. The design maximizes use of space, incorporates state of the art digital technology and creates a highly flexible environment that can easily adapt to meet its changing needs. It features apartments, shop and office space.

Protecting Environment Is A Matter Of Life And Death, Says Museveni

President Yoweri Museveni emphasized that protecting the environment is a matter of life and death for humanity cautioning that ‘we must do all it takes to protect the environment lest we perish.’ The president was speaking as guest of honor during World Environment Day celebrations in Ibanda District on Monday.

“All those interfering with nature are doing a great disservice to themselves and will ultimately pay a heavy price. God created for us a wonderful environment to live in but by degrading it, we are going against his will. Water is our life and we should not interfere with anything to do with water or the environment.

“We have not had enough rains for the last two seasons in Uganda and experts attribute it to the attack on the environment by people who invaded wetlands, forests, lakes and rivers that contribute 40% of the rains we get and we can’t go on like that,” he added.

The President, therefore, said that government is soon amending and strengthening the environment protection law to ensure that nobody should do any activity in a radius of 50 meters from a river bank, 200 meters from a lake shore and advised all people living or practicing agriculture in wetlands and forestry reserves, to leave them peacefully.

Important for tourism

Museveni further said that protecting the environment is also important for tourism noting that the sector earns the country much more foreign exchange than most economic activities the country is engaged in.

The President, who described the environment as the genetic bank, appealed to all citizens of Uganda to prioritize environmental protection for the good of the current and future generations. He emphasized that they ought treat whoever is attacking the environment as their number one enemy.

Rain catchment areas

The Minister of Water and Environment, Sam Cheptoris, said that wetlands, forests and water bodies are important rain catchment areas and that whoever attacked them in a country like Uganda that is largely agricultural and dependent on rainfall, must be resisted.

On behalf of the United Nations, the United Nations Development Program Country Director, Ms. Rosa Malanga, said that humanity must find ways of connecting with nature, protect it, respect it and safeguard the world heritage. She commended Uganda for being one of the few countries that have put in place a legal framework to protect the environment.

The French Ambassador to Uganda, Ms. Stephanie Rivoal, noted that humanity shares the same planet and there must be a collective duty to protect it selfishly for the sake of the future generations.

She said that the planet belongs to nobody but to everybody and it is, therefore, a duty of everybody to ensure that it is safe for humanity. She appealed to developed countries who contributed greatly to climate change to take a leading role in mitigating the causes of climate change.

Premier Rugunda Speaks Out On Uganda’s Oil, Mineral Development

The prime minister of Uganda RT. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has reiterated government desire to fully exploit natural resources sustainably to benefit all Ugandans.

In this slightly edited speech which the Prime Minister delivered at the two day 6th Joint Sector Review for the Energy and Mineral Development Sector at Speke Resort Hotel, Munyonyo, on 25th – 26th August 2016, Hon Rugunda emphasizes government’s plans to get the best of the natural resources spread across the country. Read on.

The Prime Ministers speech

It is my pleasure to preside over the opening ceremony of the 6th Joint Sector Review for the Energy and Mineral Development Sector. I am aware that this forum brings together key stakeholders who will review the Performance of the Sector for the Financial Year 2015/16, assess the extent of progress for the jointly Agreed Undertakings, the challenges faced, make appropriate recommendations and measures to address the challenges. In addition the Review shall inform the budgeting process for the Financial Year 2017/18.

I note that the theme for this year’s Review is “Towards a Middle Income status with Sustainable Development of Energy and Mineral Resources”. This theme rhymes well with NRM Government Strategic Direction of achieving a Middle Income status by the year 2020.

I also note the policy objective on energy is to ensure adequate and reliable supply of energy to support social and economic growth, while the policy objective on the mineral sector is to explore, increase ore reserves and promote value addition of mineral ores in order to stimulate industrial growth and to create employment.

In the Petroleum sector, Policy Goal is to use the country’s oil and gas resources to contribute to early achievement of poverty eradication and create lasting value to society. All these policy objectives are in line with the attainment of a middle income status.

In other words, we want to use our natural resources as engines for growth. You will all appreciate that investment cannot come into the country if there is no supporting infrastructure that lower the cost of doing business. Infrastructure development like electricity generation, transmission and distribution can only be enhanced when we, as Government, save money to invest and also entice our development partners to provide reasonably priced capital for project development.

Investment in energy, oil and gas, and mineral infrastructure remains a top Government priority. Government is committed to providing resources to the sector as the financial situation improves to match the demand arising from population growth and economic development needs.

Electricity generation

Government has continued to register further positive developments in the Energy and Mineral sector. Power generation projects including the 600 MW Karuma Hydropower and the 183 MW Isimba Hydropower project are in the development phase. In addition, under the Global Energy Transfer Feed in Tariff program, government is undertaking the development of seventeen (17) small-scale renewable energy generation projects which will also add 150.8 MW.

In order to improve power service delivery and cover most of the countryside with the grid network, Government has put emphasis on connecting electricity to district headquarters, productive centers like factories and trading centers and social services such as health centers, educational instructions and water supply points.

I am informed that 108 out of the operational 112 district in Uganda are supplied with electricity. During this financial year works will commence to connect the districts of Nwoya, Kaabong and Kotido. Buvuma District will be covered next financial year.

As most of us appreciate, the major constraint to accessing electricity is the inability, mainly of the rural and peri-urban dwellers, to afford connection costs. The NRM Government, together with some Development Partners, started a subsidy scheme to ease the burden of the high upfront connection costs. With the availability of this subsidy scheme the connections have increased.

Oil and Gas development

In the Oil and Gas sub-sector, the first phase for the refinery, of 30,000 barrels per day is expected to be in place by 2020/2021. Implementation processes are on-going for the development of a 60,000 barrels per day petroleum refinery in a phased manner starting with 30,000 barrels per day, crude oil feeder pipelines from the oil fields to an oil hub near the refinery, a 1445km long, 24-inch diameter crude oil export pipeline, and a 211 km long 12-inch diameter pipeline from the refinery to a storage terminal to be developed North-West of Kampala Capital city.

The acquisition of 29.5km2 of land to accommodate a petrochemical-based industrial park has been completed. The park will include a refinery, a crude oil export hub, an international Airport, logistics systems, utilities, and other petrochemical industries. A masterplan for the development of the industrial park is expected to be completed by February 2017. Also, an integrated infrastructure corridor which will accommodate a pipeline, a highway, Power Transmission and ICT infrastructure cable systems is being planned, from the industrial park at Kabaale in Hoima to Kampala.

The Minister has already discussed the progress made to grant Production Licences to existing Oil Companies as well as the eminent grant of Exploration Licences to new oil companies. This should be expedited

Addressing mining sector constraints

In the Mineral Sub-sector, the NRM government has intensified efforts to strengthen capacity of the mineral sector so as to address sectoral constraints i.e. the fiscal regime and the mining legislation to enable the sector to be attractive to investment.

Government is now reviewing the mining legislation and has increased monitoring and inspection of mining operations so that we can streamline the emerging sector challenges like speculation and mineral smuggling.

Government has already made good progress on geo-scientific surveys, human resources development and equipping the Institutions with tools for acquisition and management of geo-scientific data, and analytical laboratories that has enabled new mineral discoveries.

Arising out of the recent airborne geophysical surveys and ground follow-up geological mapping as well as mineral exploration, ore reserves of mineral deposits in the country have significantly increased.

For example, over 200 million tons of iron ore have been discovered in Southwestern Uganda as compared to the 3 million tons which was known to occur at Muko in Kabale and Kisoro districts. Over 300 million tons of limestone / marble have been proven in Karamoja region.

Vermiculite reserves have increased from 5 million tons to 54.9 million tons in Namekhala in Manafwa district. Several new mineral targets have been mapped in the country. These include Gold, Nickel, Platinum, Rare Earth Elements, Bentonite clays, among others.

Land disputes

Acquisition of land for infrastructure development projects still remains a challenge. There are delays arising from land owners who either oppose accessing their land or dispute the land rates recommended by the office of the Chief Government Valuer.

These disputes lead to escalating costs of the projects. This shows that the Land Law in the country may be a constraint to investment. I, therefore, strongly support and urge the Minister responsible for lands to conclusively come out with a solution to this problem.

I also wish to urge the local authorities to actively facilitate the acquisition of land for infrastructure projects in their areas so that there is timely implementation of the projects.

  1. Government is committed to developing the energy and mineral infrastructure in a prudent manner that follows the required international practice, including competitive participation from investors, service providers and contractors.

We, therefore, encourage potential investors, private sector developers, and our Development Partners to give support to develop energy projects as private or under a public – private partnership arrangement.

As I conclude, I wish to commend the Ministry for having a forum which enables us to achieve sound principles of good governance. I wish to emphasize that feedback is a critical element of service delivery. There should be appropriate feedback on implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY

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