Museveni promises oil production in two years

President Museveni. FILE PHOTO

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Uganda’s oil industry was recently thrown in disarray after Total E&P suspended all activities on the oil pipeline resulting from a tax dispute with Tullow, a major partner. Tullow pulled out of the negotiations citing frustration to sell a part of its stake.

President Museveni has said he will in the next two years use Uganda’s oil to fund construction of road projects if donor partners fail to raise sufficient funds to fund them.

Speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that seeks to bring peace and development in Turkana, West Pokot and Karamoja, President Museveni told United Nations officials that they had two years to build a road connecting Uganda to Ethiopia, short of which Uganda would fund it using oil money.
The road, which will connect Uganda to Ethiopia through Karamoja to Turkana’s main oil producing town of Lodwar, will facilitate trade between the two countries.

“The United Nations doesn’t have a lot of money but I would like them to use their advocacy abilities to get us money to build a road connecting Uganda to Ethiopia through Kenya,” President Museveni said, noting that the request would only stand for two years, after which Uganda would simply build the road.
“Once my oil comes out in two years, I will build the road myself,” he said in reference to UN’s failure to raise money for the road.
Asked whether the President wasn’t being over ambitious, Siddharth Chatterjee, the UN resident coordinator to Kenya, said these grand plans were necessary to deliver results to these most marginalised communities.

However, the President’s announcement is two years ahead of the 2023 deadline when Uganda, Tanzania and venture partners expect to have completed the construction of the heated pipeline for transportation of oil through the port of Tanga in Tanzania.
It is unclear how Uganda will start oil production within the new two years, when the country failed to pull off earlier deadlines.

Thrown in disarray


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