HOIMA – The Executive Director (ED) for Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) Proscovia Nabbajja has warned the people of Bunyoro against abandoning other sectors in favor for oil and gas sector.
On Thursday, a delegation from UNOC led by the ED Nabbajja had a closed-door meeting with the Bunyoro Kitara kingdom officials led by the Kingdom Prime Minister and discussed different ways on how the youth and women can be empowered to be able to benefit from the oil and gas sector.
UNOC is a limited liability petroleum company in Uganda and owned by the Ugandan government.
Its overall function is to handle the Government of Uganda’s commercial interests in the petroleum sector and to ensure that the resource is exploited in a sustainable manner.
Speaking to theCooperator news after the meeting with the Kingdom, Nabbajja said, as the country heads to production of oil and gas, many people have put their focus only on this sector.
She noted that such an anxiety is likely to affect sectors such as agriculture, tourism and fishing among others.
She noted that there is need for Ugandans, mostly the people of Bunyoro Kitara kingdom to embrace other sectors such as agriculture to avoid the Dutch disease which is faced by several oil producing countries.
In economics, the Dutch disease is the apparent causal relationship between the increase in the economic development of a specific sector like the natural resources and decline in other sectors like agriculture and manufacturing.
“We need to create an environment where people are thinking beyond oil and gas because oil is a finite resource and we need to look at complementary services that are going to keep Bunyoro alive even after the oil and gas; so is it an area that we can interest women and youths? Absolutely yes, ” she noted.
She added that UNOC has agreed to partner with Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom to prepare women and youth as one way of preparing such groups for the sector.
Nabbajja says, UNOC is committed to see that Ugandans especially the kingdom subjects get prepared to tap into the upcoming oil and gas opportunities.
She added that under their partnership, UNOC will help women groups and youth to register on the National suppliers’ data base to ensure that they get a chance to get involved in the oil business.
She also promised that UNOC will empower youth groups with different skills such as financial literacy and issues of standards. She explained that quality and standards is a key in the oil and gas sector which many business people lack.
The Kingdom Prime Minister, Andrew Byakutanga commended UNOC for the partnership and promised that the Kingdom will identify the existing women and youth groups and know their challenges and then recommend them to benefit from the initiative.
He explained that 60% women are involved in agriculture but most of them lack skills, adding that skilling them will be an added advantage which will help such groups to supply quality goods and services to the oil and gas sector.
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