Ugandan construction contractors and engineers under their umbrella body, Uganda National Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors (UNABCEC) have been urged to ensure professionalism while undertaking projects in the oil and gas sector following the signing of Final Investment Decision(FID).
The governments of Uganda and Tanzania earlier this year signed the Final Investment Decision with international oil companies Total E&P and CNOOC to unlock billions of dollars of investment in Uganda's oil and gas sector.
Giving a key note address during a CEO’s breakfast meeting on contractors’ readiness to undertake projects in the oil and gas sector held at Hotel Africana, the Private Sector Foundation chairman, Dr.Elly Karuhanga noted that whereas the oil and gas sector presents many opportunities, professionalism is key for contractors and engineers.
“Engineers are a critical group in the development of any country. And now that the Final Investment Decision was signed, you are very crucial in all that will unfold in Uganda’s oil and gas sector because Uganda is now going to become a huge construction site. There will be immense opportunities for you,”Dr.Karuhanga said.
He however noted that these opportunities can only be seized by those who act professionally because the oil and gas sector is one that is highly regulated.
“Let us go for professionalism because there will not be going around. There is strictness that needs to be followed,” he said.
“You need to get the required skills so as to enable you take part in the oil and gas journey. Invest in yourselves to acquire certification. The process is expensive but it is worth it.”
He urged them to learn how to write technical bids because it will help them hit huge contracts.
The UNABCEC president, Eng. JamesOne Olonya also emphasized the issue of professionalism for contractors that he said is key.
“You need to know that shoddy works are very costly. You might think you are saving a lot of money in doing shoddy works but in the long run, you lose good will and getting back on track is very costly,”Eng.Olonya told the contractors.
“You should not be doing business just for money but do it for the passion.”
Speaking at the same function, the KCB bank Uganda Managing Director, Edgar Byamar said the bank is ready to give the much needed finances to the contractors to ably take part in the proceedings in the oil and gas sector.
“The signing of the FDI has given everyone the opportunity to prepare for opportunities in the oil and gas sector. As KCB, we are ready to support the local contractors .We believe our support will help the contractors address the key challenges of finances,” Byamar said.
He however noted there is need to train and sensitize the masses about the oil and gas sector.
According to Ramla Nantongo, the head of Corporate Banking at KCB Bank, they are ready to offer finances and other solutions including bank guarantees, unsecured bid bonds, certificate discounting, invoice discounting, contract financing and certificate discounting among other to contractors.
“With us, you will always be covered. We provide contractors with equipment needed to accomplish different projects. With our Bancassurance, you access funding with our financial premiums for a period of 10months,”Nantongo said.