By ABCafrica reporter
The new vice chairman of Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Patrick Mweheire has said before any oil gets out of the ground, a lot of money is going to be invested in the economy – somewhere between $10b (Shs36 trillion) to $15b (Shs54 trillion). He was speaking during the first meeting for the new council in Kampala, last week. “That is almost 50 per cent of Uganda’s GDP. So the questions we have to grapple with are; “what can we do as a chamber to unblock particular areas that will allow us to harness this opportunity?’ ‘What are the challenges in our way?” Mr Mweheire said.
The oil and gas industry remains heavily dependent on foreign labor as Ugandans slowly come to cope with its demands. With one of its core functions being to promote, encourage, protect and foster responsible exploration and service delivery in the extractive sectors, the chamber intends to help as many Ugandans as possible to work in the country’s oil and gas industry through skilling.
“There is a lack of depth in a numbers of very remedial skills along the value chain whether it’s driving, welding, fabricating, name it. These gaps can be filled with skilling and training and a little bit of guidance,” Mr Mweheire noted. On his part, Dr Elly Karuhanga, the chamber chairman, said; “We have to figure out how to keep a significant percentage of the oil investments in Uganda.
“The chamber will continue to engage the state, through a special committee to ensure that the upcoming Local Content law addresses all our concerns so that many Ugandans can participate in the sector.”
Patrick Mweheire was elected as the new deputy Chairman at the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) in the latest selection of board members. Mweheire replaces Hon. Richard Kaijuka. Kaijuka will now, according to a later dated July 11 by the organization secretariat, be head Board of Trustees; where he will he be deputized by Tullow PLC country manager, Jimmy Mugerwa. UCMP is a not-for profit, non-governmental organization that represents the interests of private players in the mining and petroleum sector of Uganda.
Dr. Elly Karuhanga has retained his position as the chairman of the chamber on a 2-year contract which was renewed, following a June 30, 2017 an annual general meeting. The UCMP Chairman Karuhanga, promised to create a “Dream Team” that will ensure the organization aspirations are met through skilling as many Ugandans as possible in all relevant and practical areas while ensuring all timelines are adhered to beat the 2020 target.