The Leader of Opposition calls for transparency in the Energy and Mineral sector
Hon. Betty Aol Ochan the Leader of Opposition (LOP) in Parliament, demands more transparency on how the Government is handling the energy and mineral sector in the country. She says that Ugandans are spectators other than the actor in the industry.
“The secrecy with which the Oil exploration processes have been managed and treated leaves a lot to ponder on. Ink has been put on paper, Dollars passed on to different accounts and personnel strategically placed but all this out of the eye of the ordinary Ugandan,” Said Achan.
While presenting the opposition response to the State of the Nation Address 2020 on Wednesday 24th June 2020, the LOP told Parliament that besides the Oil, Uganda is gifted with vast and numerous mineral deposits but their exploitation is controversy recreated.
Achan notes that there are reports on crude oil in the country secretly exported contrary to the Presidents promise to refine the crude oil from Uganda. She expressed her disappointment on how the energy and mineral sector is run as personal property.
“Reports that trucks after trucks have been driving to these Oil areas in Western Uganda and out towards the border has raised suspicions of secretive export of Crude Oil despite the President’s continued talk of Refining the Oil from here,” Said Achan.
The LOP applauded the effort by the Government in increasing power generation in the country. However, she was keen to note that the cost at which the power is being generated in Uganda is far higher compared to other generation projects across the world.
“It does not make economic sense borrowing heavily to develop power generation plants, and ultimately the population cannot afford its use for both domestic and industrial use. Less than 30% of Ugandans have access to Electricity to date.” Achan
The LOP called upon Government to come up with a robust regulatory framework for Gold and other minerals exploitation to allow for better management. She also called upon Government to properly gazette the Mining sites for environment management and protection.
“For Uganda to fully reap the benefits of the energy and minerals, the Government should make open for scrutiny all the Oil exploration contracts and licenses and eliminate corruption in the sector.” Said Achan.