The State Minster for Minerals, Peter Lokeris has said a lot still needs to be done for Ugandans to be able to benefit through jobs in the Oil and Gas sector as the country nears exploration of its oil.
Speaking at the first annual dialogue of the Oil and Gas local content stakeholders in Kampala on Wednesday, Lokeris said despite the availability of the law requiring that a certain percentage of those to work in the sector to be locals, Ugandans are not yet ready to take up the jobs.
“When we go to production phase, we made laws and policies to regulate the industry and established institutions like Petroleum Authority of Uganda to become the regulator and also established the National Oil Company of Uganda .We said we have to organize ourselves in every aspect so that Ugandans are involved,”Lokeris said on Wednesday.
“We need to tell Ugandans what to do in order to participate because they are not yet ready. We have brought an expert from Nigeria who has been developing local content issues for a long time in Nigeria to help advise on how Ugandans can participate.”
He said that all efforts are being done to ensure Ugandans are fully involved in the sector but noted a lot still needs to be done.
“To achieve local content in Uganda’s oil sector, it will require combined efforts of all companies like banks, private oil companies and environmentalists among others. There is need to educate those who are already involved and those who are aspiring to get involved in the industry on what they are supposed to do to fully benefit.”
Prof.Charles Kwesiga, the chairman for Association of Uganda Oil and Gas Service providers(AUGOS) urged Ugandans to fully understand the entire oil and gas chain from the exploration to the consumption stage to see where best they can fit and benefit from the sector.
“Do we as service providers have the competence to participate? If not, then we can acquire it so we are not left out,”Prof.Kwesiga noted.
The dialogue was organised by the Association of Uganda Oil and Gas service providers(AUGOS).
Energy Minister, Eng.Irene Muloni recently said that Oil and gas activities would create at least 167,000 jobs at their peak during field development as well as pipeline and refinery construction.
Uganda has 6.5 billion barrels of oil of which about 1.5 billion barrels is recoverable and plans to start production of its oil in 2020.