The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) board has tipped Ernest Rubondo as the first executive director of the oil body, Daily Monitor has learnt.
The seven-member board led by Makerere University don and deputy chairperson in the Education Service Commission, Dr Jane Mulemwa, zeroed on Mr Rubondo following a rigorous search process that started in March.
This newspaper understands that a handful of candidates applied for the lucrative job but only two were shortlisted. The other was assistant commissioner for oil development and production at the Petroleum Directorate, formerly Petroleum Exploration and Production Department (PEPD), Fred Kabanda.
Dr Mulemwa could not be reached for comment as her known phone number was switched off.
Energy minister Irene Muloni, who according to the law superintends over the body, said she was “not aware” of the development because she has been out of office pending vetting by Parliament.
Mr Rubondo, currently in London for the Oil and Gas Council Africa Energy Assembly, when asked by this newspaper when he starts work said he was not sure.
The PAU board, early this year, advertised the position of executive director. Applicants were required to possess at least 10 years’ experience in management of a well-organised institution, knowledge in petroleum exploration and production and a minimum of a Master’s degree in petroleum-related courses including law and finance.
Who is Rubondo?
Rubondo currently the director of the Entebbe-based Petroleum Directorate in the ministry of Energy holds a Master degree in Petroleum Reservoir Geology from the UK.
He is credited for the construction of Uganda’s nascent petroleum industry from the early 1990s.
He was part of the team that negotiated the Production Sharing Agreement (PSAs) with international oil companies, chaired the working group which formulated the draft National Oil and Gas Policy in 2008, coordinated formulation of drafts for the Petroleum Exploration, Development and Production Bill and Petroleum Refining Conversion, Storage and Transportation Bill 2013 which became Acts in April and June 2013 respectively.
The PAU is established by the Petroleum Refining Conversion, Storage and Transportation Act and is charged with regulation, overseeing and monitoring the downstream arm of Uganda’s burgeoning petroleum industry. The body is also mandated to issue production licences to the companies.
The executive director, according to the Act, has a five-year renewable contract.
Mr Rubondo will prepare the country for commercial oil production. In the recently proposed arrangements, the Petroleum Authority executive director was tipped to earn $20,000 (about Shs49.5 million) per month and a driver, the least paid in the body $600 (about Shs1.4 million).