Uganda’s Oil and Gas Benefits Are Diverse and Inclusive

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I read an article in the Independent magazine publication of 4th April 2022 titled ”Opposition to Uganda oil pipeline’’ where the two young Ugandan women environmental rights activists, Hilda Flavia Nakabuye and Vanessa Nakate affiliated with the global Fridays for Future movement met Pope Francis and were determined to end the oil and gas infrastructure project in Uganda.

To me, being one side bent by only considering the effects of oil pipelines on the environment as opposed to the benefits of oil and gas to the country is being antagonistic to Uganda’s development.

The benefits of the oil industry are diverse and not only limited to the creation of employment by the oil companies and service providers but also the supply of goods and services by Ugandan companies, better service delivery as a result of the taxes paid to the Government as a host by Total Energies as a tenant in the project.

Increased Foreign Direct Investment which will lead to an increase in income and more purchasing power to locals and an overall boost in targeted economies, training of Ugandans in the sector, infrastructure development, reduced expenditure on white products importation and raw materials for the plastics industry, growth of petrochemical industry, etc.

The companies themselves bring in equipment since it is not manufactured here. This equipment has to be transported from Europe and Asia to the remote drilling locations in the Albertine. They also bring in personnel and these have to be transported, fed, housed, clothed, to mention.

The presence of these large oil companies attracts large multi-national companies that provide support services to the oil companies by bringing in more people, more equipment, and more resources which becomes an opportunity for the ordinary, informed, and prepared Ugandan by supplying them with their products.

We therefore ought to embrace and remain optimistic that the oil and gas project will give the economy much more mileage in a shorter time than if it wasn’t discovered which will lead to social-economic transformation.

 

 

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