Baz Waiswa

Baz Waiswa

TOURISM: We Can Market Clean Energy Instead Of Miss Curvy Pageant

By Mumbere Edwin Fanta

On February 5th, the state minister for Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda unveiled an initiative in which curvy and sexy Ugandan women will now be listed as some of the items to attract tourists to the pearl of Africa.

However this has caused a backlash where people have shared their thoughts that this is just a sign of moral decadency for the minister to start using curvy women as tourist attractions. Some people are saying that this has reduced women to animals that should be lined for leisure.

It is only a sign of moral decadency for the minister to start using curvy women as tourist attractions yet we can use the solar energy installed in the various tourist hotels that are in and around the national parks .

When tourist come to Uganda, they are coming see how we are beautifully blessed with national resources such as the sun that we have throughout the year which we have used to provide lighting in their hotels.

This is a plus for us because most of the European and Asian countries have got polluted air and some are still using coal to generate power which has it negative impacts to their lives.

If we can use the solar energy carefully, we can lure thousands and thousands of tourist since they come to Uganda to not only visit the various national parks but to also look at the various options that we have in Uganda that can implemented in their countries.

Therefore we can rebrand the miss curvy Uganda tourism promotion with clean energy such as solar since the world is now turning to the use of clean energy and this will bring in tourist since it has negative impacts to the environment and animals and this what the tourist are interested in.

Mumbere Edwin Fanta

AFEIGO FIELD OFFICER –KASESE

Dangote Reveals What Drives Investment In Refinery, Petrochemicals

The ongoing investment in refining, petrochemicals, fertilizer and gas is driven by the desire to bring innovation and efficiency into all aspects of Nigeria's oil and gas sector, the President/Chief Executive, Aliko Dangote has said.

Dangote, who made this disclosure yesterday at the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja, said the company is committed to the concept of energy efficiency and innovation in the oil and gas sector.

The business mogul, whose 650,000 barrels-per-day capacity refinery is the largest in Africa, was represented by the Group Executive Director, Government and Strategic Relations, Dangote Industries Limited, Engr. Ahmed Mansur.

Addressing participants at the forum, Mansur said the theme of the conference, "Shaping the Future through Efficiency and Innovation", was quite apt; given Nigeria's quest for economic transformation.

According to him, Aliko Dangote is passionate about efficiency and innovation in the oil & gas sector through adding value to the hydrocarbon process.

Mansur said the company's passion and drive is seen in the building of the project, which will become the world largest single train refinery on completion and therefore a boost to Nigeria's economy.

He stated: "The Refinery can meet 100% of the domestic requirement of all liquid petroleum products (Gasoline, Diesel, Kerosene and Aviation Jet), leaving the surplus for export.

"This high volume of PMS output from the Dangote Refinery will transform Nigeria from a petrol import-dependent country to an exporter of refined petroleum products. The refinery is designed to accommodate multiple grades of domestic and foreign crude and process these into high-quality gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and aviation fuels that meet Euro V emissions specifications, plus polypropylene", he said.

Mansur disclosed that Dangote is also constructing the largest fertiliser Plant in West Africa with capacity to produce 3.0 million tonnes of Urea per year as part of the gigantic economic transformation project. He explained that the Dangote Fertiliser complex consists of Ammonia and Urea plants with associated facilities and infrastructure.

"Nigeria will be able to save $0.5 billion from import substitution and provide $0.4 billion from exports of products from the fertiliser plant. Thus, supply of fertiliser from the plant, which is set for commissioning before the second quarter of 2019, will be enough for the Nigerian market and neighbouring countries," he added.

Speaking further, he said at a time when the oil and gas industry and the global economy is in a state of flux, it is most appropriate that attention should be given to the future especially given the incredible speed and quantum of change taking place in every facet of human endeavour. 

"Our economy in particular cannot afford to ignore these massive changes. Our decades of dependence on this industry for our economic well-being and the urgent need for diversification has been widely recognised and is clearly the most critical challenge for our policy makers.

"But even as we seek to diversity from oil, and we are, indeed, making observable progress in this regard, we cannot ignore the need to continue to exploit this God-given resources in a more efficient and innovative manner," he added.

He commended the Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for its unwavering support in Dangote's quest to make Nigeria self-sufficient in the production of petroleum products.

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Katuntu Denies Seeking COSASE Tenure Extension

Chairperson of the Parliaments Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), Hon Abdu Katuntu has denied allegations that he approached the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, seeking extension of his tenure.

Katuntu, who is also the MP for Bugweri County, dismissed the media claims that he asked Kadaga to stay his office handover up to February 20th, to allow the committee conclude its work, which includes investigation into the sale of seven commercial banks by the Central Bank.

He says the idea to extend the committee tenure came from the Speaker herself.  It is not true that we went to the speaker to seek an extension, Katuntu told the Committee as it resumed the Bank of Uganda probe this morning.

“I want to put this on record. What happened; like any serious chairman of a committee, we always brief the speaker on the progress of the work we are doing as a committee.”

“So I went to the speaker and briefed her as the head of this institution, how far we had gone. She inquired whether it would be possible to complete this work before the term expires. I did explain to the speaker that it was not possible, Katuntu said.

“The speaker suggested that she would engage the leadership of the opposition and see a way forward. That process of engagement, I am not part of it. I imagine that the speaker will communicate to the house if the engagement happened”.

COSASE’s two and a half year tenure like other standing committees expires on January 13th. However, in December last year the Speaker of Parliamebt petitioned the leader of opposition (LoP), Betty Aol Ochan asking her to extend committee’s term to conclude the probe into the sale of banks by bank of Uganda.

Ochan declined on grounds that the move contravenes with the parliamentary rule of procedure that allows the committee to stay of two and half years in office.  

In the recent reshuffles, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) dropped Katuntu and appointed Kawempe South MP, Mubarak Munyagwa as the chairperson, superintending all the activities of the committee.

BoU Fails To Defend MMaks Payment In Crane Bank Sale

Bank of Uganda return to Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) took off on a wrong footing when the central bank officials failed to defend Shs900m which they paid to MMAKS advocates for external legal advice.

The officials who were appearing before the committee Tuesday were put to task to explain how they hired MMAKS Advocates and gave the law firm work without terms of reference as well as not having minutes of the meetings relating to the work the lawyers were to do in regard to the liquidation and sale of Crane Bank Limited (CBL).

MMAKS Advocates were paid Shs914, 272,722 for legal advice during CBL intervention, resolution and advice on the sale of CBL assets and assumption of liabilities.

The firm would further be paid extra Shs3 billion as 5 percent commission monies recovered from CBL shareholders. The MPs contend those payments were exaggerated to benefit some BoU senior staff involved in the sale of CBL.

The former director of Bank supervision at BoU Justine Bagyenda failed to convince the legislators on the business MMAKS did with BoU as some records were missing. Committee chairman Abdu Katuntu said it was wrong for BoU not to have records on the particular transaction.

Bagyenda read to the MPs a memo/document of November 30, 2016 requesting for payment of the lawyers without showing the work that was done. BoU governor would on December 12, endorse and approve the request for payment of over US$51000 dollars as part of their total fee.

The law firm was hired after On October 28, 2016, BOU engaged PWC to carry out a forensic review of Crane Bank Limited (CBL) focusing on a 48 month period before statutory management which was completed on January 13, 2017.

On November 28, 2016, BOU engaged MMAKS Advocates to provide transaction advice to take over CBL and the firm would on December 9, 2016, on behalf of BoU, invite 13 bidders to bid for the purchase of assets and assumption of liabilities of CBL. Between 12th and 15th December 2016, BOU issued the Inventory report to 6 bidders after signing a confidential agreement for them to undertake due diligence on the assets and liabilities of CBL. Subsequently on 20’h December 20, 2016, two bids were received and evaluated.

The costs to MMAKS are part of the Shs12 billion intervention costs BoU claims to have sunk in CBL during the takeover. Lawyers of MMAKS also ar4e directors of some commercial banks yet they do business with BoU which is the regulators. MPs said this creates conflict of interest and that BoU should have addressed the issue before giving the law firm the job.

Meanwhile, Committee Chairman Abdu Katuntu has ordered that BoU staff tomorrow appear again accompanied with representatives of M/S J.N. Kirkland & Associates and Sil, the two firms that participated in the sale of assets of Greenland Bank, International Credit Bank and Cooperative Bank to Nile River Acquisition at Shs8.89 billion.

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