Finance

Finance (299)

Consortium Attempts To Insure Uganda’s Oil Businesses

The oil and gas industry is a risky business especially when you look at the monies involved. And with the kind of bulky risks involved, businesses turn to insurance companies to cushion their investment and protect their operation in the event that a disaster occurs.

Uganda as a first time oil producer is even faced with much more risks that must be covered by insurance companies. And with an investment in the region of $20bn expected to make its way into the country to kick start oil production, the capacity of local insurance companies will be put to test.

Over the years, insurance companies operating locally in Uganda have been trying to figure out how they can wholesomely take up the opportunity that is selfishly presenting itself. The culmination of this thinking was been creation of Insurance Consortium for Oil & Gas, Uganda in 2016, which now is being capitalized to capacitate its functions as Uganda nears start of oil production.

RAISING FINANCIAL CAPACITY

The chairperson of the consortium Mr. Azim Tharani, also Managing Director of Goldstar Insurance, speaking at Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum recently said that they currently 14 member companies. He said are looking at raising financial capacity of $200m. They have so far raised $2m to cover some of the risks under the oil and gas sector.

The members were mobilized by Uganda Insurance Association (UIA), an umbrella body that brings together all insurance firms and insurance brokerage firms.

The consortium has reportedly partnered with other international insurers and reinsurers including: Munich Reinsurance, Swiss RE-Insurance, Chaucer, Beazley, Aspen and many others from the Lloyds market in London. Just under $3 billion is spent globally in insurance premium on oil and gas per year; hence re-insurance is inevitable.

Insurance opportunities in the oil and gas sector include oil well drilling equipment, rigs, in-hole equipment, bulk cargo, Construction All Risk (CAR), business interruptions, delayed start-up, waste in transit, works and infrastructure of disposal units, pipeline, heating equipment, oil and gas stocks, storage facilities, production storage facilities goods in transit and vessels and camps amongst others.

“It is sensible for the local Uganda market to build up its capital base slowly and efficiently; and not take on more than it can afford to pay out in claims,” says, Mr. Neil Genders, a director at AON, UK, said at an an oil and gas training in Kampala organized by their correspondent partner Minet Uganda.

EXPAND EXPERTISE IN OIL AND GAS INSURANCE

At the same training, Mr. Deepak Pandey, CEO, Jubilee Insurance, said insurance firms have to expand their expertise in oil and gas insurance. "We have to develop and grow steadily with the economy. As we retain more of the insurance premium in Uganda, our ability to cover the bigger part of the risk will grow year on year. So while our capacity may look small now, the key thing is that we have to start from somewhere. This is why the government of Uganda is insisting on Local Content participation,” said Mr. Pandey.

Uganda’s Local Content Policy 2018 commits to supporting participation of Ugandans in the oil and gas sector, through improving the country’s human resources, employment of local citizens and enterprises plus improve local competitiveness and in-country research, development and technology transfer to Ugandans.

AON/MINET’S EXPERIENCE 

Minet (then trading as AON, Uganda) was very instrumental in Uganda’s exploration stage, where it offered insurance solutions to a number of clients. “Just like other potential support sectors, insurance companies in Uganda are doing all they can, both privately and under their various umbrella bodies, to understand the oil industry as well as train their personnel to appreciate the risks that might manifest in this new market,” says Mr Maurice Amogola, the CEO, Minet Uganda.

“While risks can be mitigated in various ways, insurance is very critical and must not be ignored by the government, the oil companies or their services providers. As an insurance consultancy, Minet’s job is to discuss with clients about the potential risks and subsequently connect them to suitable insurers to cover them,” says Mr. Amogola.

Kasekende, Masembe Helped Bank Of Uganda Recruit New Lawyers

Incoming reports are suggesting that Bank of Uganda deputy governor Louis Kasekende and Timothy K. Masembe of MMKAS Advocates played a key role in central bank’s recruitment of new lawyers, J. B. Byamugisha Advocates.

J. B. Byamugisha Advocates last week in a notice to court said they had been recruited to represent Bank of Uganda in a case against Sudhir Ruparelia. However Eagle Online reports that Byamugisha is a close ally of Masembe.

It should be remembered that in December 2017 Commercial Court disqualified city lawyers Timothy K. Masembe and David Mpanga from representing Bank of Uganda against Sudhir Ruparelia due to conflict of interest. The dual had prior done some work for the businessman and were privy to information they could use against him.

But according to emerging report, Masembe as a lawyer and a friend to Kasekende is still running or influencing matters at the central bank officially or unofficially.

The central bank's recruitment of Byamugisha came after court said Lule and Sebalu advocates are too conflicted to represent any entity against Ruparelia because, like Masembe and Mpaga, they are conflicted having recently worked for the businessman.

Eagle Online has reliably learnt Counsel Masembe who was a lawyer for Dr. Byamugisha during his tenure when was an external lawyer for National Social Security Fund had participated heavily in having Byamugisha replace Lule and Sebalu.

Eagle Online has also reliably learnt that Dr. Byamugisha was a legal counsel for Mr Masembe representing him on the transaction of the legal fees that were paid by BoU during the Crane bank takeover.

Byamugisha who also comes from Kabale district like BoU Governor Emmanuel Mutebile is also a member of a well networked group of influential individuals who hail from same district.

Source. Eagle Online

Youth Group Wants Irene Mulyagonja Fired From Her IGG Job

Uganda Poor Youth Movement, a youth pressure group, has petitioned President Yoweri Museveni asking him to fire the Inspector General of Government (IGG) Irene Mulyagonja for failing to execute her mandate.

The Group also alleges that there is public resentment towards the institution of Inspectorate of Government due to Mulyagonja's incompetence.

The petition signed off by the Groups spokesperson Zahid Sempala and addressed to President Museveni said the IGG is discriminatory and her office is tainted with corruption, favoritism and selective justice.

"Your Excellency, the office of the Inspector General of Government has on several occasions shunned away from investigating and prosecuting some public officers when where there is glaring evidence and public outcry to have the said person prosecuted.

Where her office chooses to investigate, these people come out scot free at the end of investigations which has prompted the public to perceive the office of the Inspector General of Government as one that is constituted on paper but rather toothless, a joke and dummy in actual sense," the petition reads in part.

The petition has come at a time when the president has also lost trust in Mulyagonja and has publically rebuked the IGG for failing at her job. The president even set up a parallel anti-corruption agency headed by Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema.

The president said the IGG office has been infiltrated by bad elements. "I think she (Mulyagonja) was infiltrated, slowly by some groups. That is why I appointed a watchman to watch over the watchman," he said. "What happened to the IGG? Why don't the victims of corruption report those incidences of corruption to the IGG?" he asked again.

Nakalema has in the recent past since her appointment made several arrests of heads of government institutions that have been reported to be corrupt leaving Mulyagonja egg faced.

Recently, a leaked shortlist of people who have applied for the job of Court of Appeal (Constitutional Court) bares the name of Mulyagonja, the current IGG. This is an indication that she is preparing for life after the Inspectorate of Government.

Sudhir Advises Young Entrepreneur To Get Their Hands Dirty

If there is one person admired by the youth and upcoming entrepreneurs, it is businessman Sudhir Ruparelia, whose break out story is phenomenon and energizing. And when he offers counsel, it holds water.

In an interview with CEO East Africa, the businessman has advised youths and the young entrepreneurs to get down and get their hands dirty.

“Uganda, like every other country has its own challenges and opportunities but the future belongs to those who go after the opportunities not the ones that always whining about the challenges,” he said.

“Government has invested significantly in roads, electricity generation and distribution which are all factors of production. It is now up to us as Ugandans to put in our all and make the best use of these, all the challenges regardless.

“The youth today are blessed to be born in the era of the internet, there is boundless opportunities.”

Sudhir Confident Uganda’s Economy Good For Doing Business

When you talk to most Ugandans undertaking different business ventures, you will get mixed reactions about the state of Uganda’s economy. Many would say it is hectic for business. They will also give varying reasons.

But for businessman Sudhir Ruparelia his response is positive and promising. The mogul with businesses in all sectors, the country’s economy is recovering and good for doing business. This economy, he says, is good for entrepreneurship.

“First of all I must say that as a Group we have confidence in this economy which is why we continue to invest and reinvest in Uganda. Whatever challenges there are, we have come to accept that, that is the nature of business,” Sudhir said in an interview with CEO East Africa.

“There is no economy without challenges,” he explained, adding “So we just have to learn how to navigate around them and wake up each day with hope and optimism that things will get better,”

The businessman is optimistic that the economy will continue to grow having recovered from the 2016 slowdown. He expects the economy to continuing growth at about 6 percent as predicted by ministry of finance and IMF.

Asked how his conglomerate Ruparelia Group has been able to sail through the difficulties the economy and his business empire has been facing, the businessman said a diversified business portfolio helped the Group survive.

“As you know, we are a multi-sectoral entity so some sectors have done better than the others but across the board I can say things are looking up,” he noted. Sudhir has seen his real estate business tremendously grow with new affluent apartments & hotels coming to life.

The hotel business had given the businessman a lifeline as Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing & Exhibitions (MICE) tourism took shape globally. Sudhir’s hotels Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kabira Country Club have benefited from both local and international conferences, workshops and meetings.

We Are Ready To Defend What Belongs To Us - Sudhir Vows

Businessman Sudhir Ruparelia has had tumultuous times ever since Bank of Uganda moved to clamp his Crane Bank citing insolvency and mismanagement of the commercial bank.

The central bank would go on to sell Crane Bank to dfcu Bank in 2017 in a manner that Sudhir describes as rushed negligent and fraudulent. Ever since then, Sudhir has been in and out of court fighting for justice and he is not about to relent. 

While this fight is draining physically and emotionally, Sudhir is not about to give up and let his hard earned businesses and integrity be rolled in the mad. In an interview with CEO East Africa, the businessman says he is determined to fight on. 

“As a Group, we are determined to defend both our integrity and that which belongs to us. We are also determined to expose the wrong doing by some of these entities that were involved in the fraudulent and illegal closures because we know that is not only us who were affected but many other Ugandans,” he told CEO East Africa’s Kyamutetera Muhereza.

In court, Sudhir is suing and is being counter sued by Bank of Uganda, dfcu Bank and Crane Bank (in receivership). He has also had fights with law firms that previously worked for him but turned around to work for his enemies.

Those he has triumphed easily. Commercial Court in December 2017 disqualified city lawyers Kanyererezi Masembe and David Mpanga from the sh397b Sudhir Ruparelia’s case against Bank of Uganda (BoU) citing conflict of interest.

Court also last month disqualified Sebalu & Lule Advocates from representing DFCU Bank for being conflicted. Like Masembe and Mpanga, Sebalu & Lule Advocates did some work for Sudhir’s Ruparelia Group.

The media has quoted Sudhir saying he wants his bank back but the fate of that is faint and it can get clearer after the numerous court sessions ahead. “As you are aware, we are in court contesting what we believe was an unjustified closure of our bank, but also the rushed negligent and fraudulent manners in which it was closed,” he said.

“However, our claims have so far been proved by the findings of the Auditor General and parliament’s committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) who found out that closure of Crane Bank and 6 other banks before that, breached several provisions of the Financial Institutions Act (2004) and was therefore illegal.” He further said.

Bank Of Uganda Extends DFCU Bank’s Occupancy Of Sudhir’s Properties

DFCU Bank will continue to occupy freehold properties of Meera Investments Ltd for another 24 months. This comes after Bank of Uganda signed to extend the dfcu Bank extra time on the properties.

According to PMLDaily.com, a local news site, central bank Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, his deputy Dr. Louis Kasekende and legal director Margaret Kasule okayed the deal officially.

The contested properties are those that used to house Crane Bank branches across the country. They are owned by Meera Investments Ltd, a company that is owned by businessman Sudhir Ruparelia.

Crane Bank was also owned by Ruparelia before it was taken over by the central bank and later sold to DFCU Bank. When DFCU took over assets and liabilities of Crane Bank is also moved into the said properties.

At the moment, Ruparelia and Meera Investment in court contesting the move by Bank of Uganda to hand over the buildings to DFCU Bank. The businessman is demanding that DFCU pays rent and rent arrears in billions of shillings.

BoU Replaces Sebalu & Lule In Case Against Meera Investments

J. B. Byamugisha Advocates will now represent Bank of Uganda in the suit filed by businessman Sudhir Ruparelia against Crane Bank Limited (in receivership).

This comes after Justice Paul Gadenya Wolimbwa, kicked Sebalu & Lule Advocates out of any commercial disputes involving Ruparelia and his businesses.

In a May 17, notice to the High Court, the central bank has confirmed having instructed J. B. Byamugisha Advocates, to provide them with legal services.

“Take notice that J.B Byamugisha Advocates on 2nd Floor, EADB Building, 4 Nile Avenue, Kampalla have been instructed to repressent the Respondent (Crane Bank) in the above application," a notice of represented drafter by the law firm stated.

The central bank in October 2016 took over management of Crane Bank Ltd before later controversially selling it dfcu Bank in January 2017 for a paltry UGX200 billion.

The central bank has since come under the spotlight after the closure Crane Bank Ltd backfired with both Parliament and the Auditor General faulting the BoU officials in the middle of the transaction.

Court last month ruled that Sebalu & Lule Advocates are conflicted because they recently worked for Ruparelia Group – the conglomerate owned by the businessman.

In December 2017, the Commercial Court disqualified city lawyers Kanyererezi Masembe and David Mpanga from the sh397b Sudhir Ruparelia’s case against Bank of Uganda (BoU), also citing conflict of interest.

Ruparelia has this week confirmed that he is determined to take on the Bank of Uganda to recover his closed Crane Bank Ltd.

The dfcu Bank which received some of the assets and liabilities of Crane Bank has since been allowed to operate in different branches whose ownership belonged to Meera Investments Ltd, one of the companies owned by Rupaleria.

Mulyagonja Chooses To Quit IGG Office After Losing Museveni’s Backing

President Yoweri Museveni will have to find a new Inspector General of Government (IGG) to replace troubled Irene Mulyagonja who is preferring life elsewhere as a judge of the Constitutional Court.

A leaked shortlist of people who have applied for the job of Court of Appeal (Constitutional Court) bares the name of Mulyagonja, the current IGG. She however faces competition from 24 other distinguished learned judges.

The Court of Appeal of Uganda also known as the Constitutional Court of Uganda is the second-highest judicial organ in Uganda. It derives its powers from Article 134 of the 1995 Constitution.

It is an appellate court when hearing cases appealed from the High Court of Uganda. However, it has original jurisdiction when adjudicating matters relating to the constitutionality of matters before it. All judgments by the Court of Appeal are theoretically appealable to the Supreme Court of Uganda, if the Supreme Court decides to hear the appeal

Justice Mulyagonja was appointed on April 12, 2012 from the High Court where she served as the judge.She has served for seven years. However recent corruptions have left her frustrated especially when the appointing authority, President Museveni, lost trust in her.

The president recently installed a new the State House based Anti-Corruption Unit headed by Lt Col Edith Nakalema to fight corruption in the country. The president has also publically attacked and criticized Mulyagonja for letting her agency to be infiltrated by bad elements. The president said:

"I hear villagers crying that things are going wrong but if they are going wrong what happened to the watchman, the one i left in charge of the home? Why has he not heard that someone is breaking the window?

"I think she (Mulyagonja) was infiltrated, slowly by some groups. That is why I appointed a watchman to watch over the watchman," he said. "What happened to the IGG? Why don't the victims of corruption report those incidences of corruption to the IGG?

If it is not working, why should we keep it then? The IGG should reflect on this. Are her staff credible? Why does the public not trust that institution? We need answers."

Financial Intelligence Authority Irked By Delayed IGG Report On Bagyenda

The Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) has said they are have not received any from report the office of Inspector General of Government regarding investigations into the illicit accumulation of wealth by former Bank of Uganda executive director supervision Justine Bagyenda.

The executive director of FIA Sydney Asubo told CEO East Africa that they are also waiting for a copy of the report. "We requested them to give us a copy of their final report because we sent to them information. They are also supposed to give us a feedback on the quality of the information we provide to them in all cases so as to help improve our own work were required," Asubo said.

But recently speaking at a press conference at Uganda Media Center, the IGG Irene Mulyagonja said the law forbids her to share the report with the public. She said that once the report is ready, it will be shared with only the person being investigate - Justine Bagyenda.

On February 20th, 2018, a whistle blower petitioned the IGG to investigate Bagyenda, referring to different assets and billions of shillings she allegedly held in two bank accounts in local commercial banks.

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