Bunyoro pushes for regional tier, wants bigger share of oil revenue
Posted Saturday, January 5 2013 at 02:00
The benefits. Bunyoro Kingdom press secretary Henry Ford Miirima says with the regional tier system, the kingdom will be in a better position to benefit from loyalties accruing from oil exploration.
Bunyoro Kingdom has announced plans to renew claims for regional tier governments as the only possible way to benefit from oil extraction due to start in the sub-region.
Speaking to the Saturday Monitor recently, Mr Henry Ford Miirima, the kingdom press secretary, said with the system, the kingdom will be in a better position to benefit from loyalties accruing from oil exploration.
“When money from loyalties is fully decided upon, it will directly go to the regional government as an entity rather than small districts; which will decide how to invest in priority sectors,” Mr Miirima said
“As the key stakeholder, we are appealing for a fairer share of 12.5 per cent than what government offered in the 2012 Public Finance Bill,” he said.
“We need recognition as an oil producing region and as the predominant owners of the resource in our land but because government is relaxed in doing so, we are going to strongly push for regional tier governments to ensure equitable distribution of oil money,” he added.
Provided for under Article 178 of the Constitution, regional tier is a system of political administration where two or more districts form a regional government. However, since 2005 when the Constitution was amended to enshrine the provision, no district has put into effect the arrangement, while the government has shown no interest in the idea.
The government in the 2012 Public Finance Bill said the central government would receive 93 per cent of oil revenues while the remaining 7 per cent would go to districts in the production belt.
Each district would have the liberty to give part of its share to a cultural institution. A section of MPs from the sub-region also agreed with the kingdom’s demand as an ‘absolute advantage’ to benefiting from oil money.
Mr Stephen Mukitale (Buliisa MP) said since 2005, his kingdom has been pushing for the system of administration but has been frustrated by the central government.
“Since the government doesn’t provide any share to cultural institutions in all legislations, the kingdom is making a legitimate claim for regional tier and a 12 per cent share from all the oil wealth,” Mr Mukitale said.