Ugandans to take 40% of oil and gas contracts

At least four in every 10 oil and gas contracts will be awarded to Ugandans, the government said yesterday.

The Media Centre executive director, Mr Ofwono Opondo, said a Cabinet meeting reached the decision at State House Entebbe on Monday.
He said the policy will help boost the human resource capacity in the industry.

Mr Ofwono Opondo told journalists at the Media Centre yesterday that the Local Content Policy for the Oil and Gas Industry in Uganda demands that companies awarded oil contracts start training locals in the next two weeks in readiness for oil production by 2021.

“By 2021, there should be no foreign company that should give any excuse as to why they want to bring a meter reader, truck driver, and an oil attendant at the refinery. If the contract in the oil and gas sector has been awarded to a foreign company, 40 per cent of that contract should go to either a Uganda-registered company or it should go to Ugandan suppliers and labourers,” he said.
Mr Opondo said the policy will also apply to all other major government contracts, including road contracts, and those for the Standard Gauge Railway.

The Cabinet, chaired by President Museveni, also approved to borrow $76.9 5 million (about Shs292b) from the African Development Bank to support mainly rice irrigation projects in eastern and northern Uganda. It will also help support maize, dairy and beef farmers in 28 districts. 
The money will also provide logistical support to dairy regulatory activities and support construction and equipping of an internationally accredited laboratory at the Uganda National Bureau of Standards for Ugandan exports.

“One of our biggest problem is not just productivity but harvest handling and storage. We grow the largest portion of maize in the region. But our maize is of low quality. The World Food Programme can’t buy it. Kenyan traders can’t buy our maize,” he said.
“A year ago, the government sent a team to Brazil because they were willing to buy our maize and when they tested it, they found it not fit for human consumption. Yes, we eat them [maize], but the way we grow and handle is not to standard. There is need for government to make deliberate intervention,” Mr Opondo added.

The Cabinet also approved the National Curriculum Development Centre (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which seeks to expand the ex-officio membership of the governing council to include more and new stakeholders such as the private sector and removing those now defunct.

Physical activity day

The Cabinet also okayed the Health ministry’s request to launch the National Physical Activity Day on July 8 at Kololo ceremonial grounds in Kampala under the theme ‘my health is my responsibility” to strengthen the prevention of non-communicable diseases. – Daily Monitor