Archbishop Kaziimba Tasks Oil Companies To Sensitise Communities On Opportunities

The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda His Grace Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu has challenged oil companies operating in the Albertine Graben to provide timely information about the existing opportunities in the oil and gas sector to local communities.

Dr Kaziimba says many people have the capacity and would love to supply goods and services to the oil and gas sector but are being sidelined mainly due to a lack of appropriate and timely information about the available opportunities.

Kaziimba who is leading a team of Bishops from the Church of Uganda for a three-day tour of the region says communities in the Albertine should be given first priority in supplying the sector with goods and services as a way of transforming their lives from the current levels of impoverishment.

Kaziimba also challenged the people of Bunyoro to position themselves to tap into opportunities that will accrue from the oil and gas sector. He says the locals should identify strategies that will see them benefit both directly and indirectly from the available oil resources.

He also tasks the government to help local companies develop their capacity and be able to compete for contracts in the sector, under the National Local Content Policy.

In Response, Zakaria Lubega, the corporate affairs officer at CNOOC Uganda says they already give priority to local communities, whenever they have opportunities, especially for semi-skilled jobs.

Uganda announced the discovery of commercially viable oil deposits in the Albertine Graben region in 2006. Since then, Uganda has set its eyes on the development phase of oil and gas, where project facilities to support the extraction of Uganda’s resources will be constructed. This phase presents immense opportunities for Ugandans looking for employment.

Over 16 sectors have by law been ring-fenced for local companies. These include; transport, security, foods, beverages, hotel management and catering, human resource management, office supplies, fuel supplies, land surveying, clearing and forwarding, locally available construction materials and civil works.

The Petroleum Authority of Uganda-PAU estimates that about 14,000 people will be directly employed by Ugandan companies, while about 45,000 people will be indirectly employed by the contractors. An additional 105,000 people will benefit from induced employment as a result of the demand for services to support the oil and gas sector.

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