The Hoima resident district commoner Samuel Kisembo Araali has asked Journalists in the oil-rich Bunyoro region to tap into the benefits accruing from the oil and gas industry.
Kisembo revealed this during the end of year dialogue for Bunyoro Journalist organized by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (“CNOOC”) Uganda limited at Hoima Resort Hotel in Hoima updating them on Oil and gas industry that as Journalist need to form strong SACCO and register it with the National supplier’s database to benefit from the Oil and gas industry.
He says there are a lot of benefits both from Government and Oil companies to tap funds and develop themselves. “There are funds with the government that need people like you who boost our economy but you can only get that money if you form groups,”
Kisembo says Sacco’s is the way to go as Journalist in the region seek economic empowerment adding that government will pump funds into the journalist SACCOs to uplift their living standards. He added: “Our dream is for all the Journalist in the Oil rich region Bunyoro to come together to form one giant union or SACCO so as to realise more benefits from the booming industry of Oil and gas.”
He says Bunyoro region will host the proposed oil refinery which is expected to produce at least 60,000 barrels of oil per day, an airport, and tarmacked roads, airfield pipelines that will bring crude oil from various oil wells to the refinery and the East African crude oil pipeline which will cover a distance of 1,444 kilometers. The pipeline construction is expected to create over 10,000 new jobs during its construction and 160,000 jobs during the commercial oil development stage.
RDC Kisembo however says with these activities, Journalist need to be strategic and form a big union registered with national supplier’s database because there are a lot of opportunities for Ugandans to participate in business during the building of the oil pipeline, refinery, and construction of oil fields among others.
However, the vice district chairperson Hoima Fred Kakoraki challenged journalist to think beyond gathering and reporting news but also transforming the country economically by investing in businesses that can help them develop.
He says it is a shaming for journalist who are always on fore front to lag behind in development yet they have higher chances in accessing knowledge on forming SACCOs.
Speaking on behalf journalist, Hamuza Kitakule the Coordinator Uganda journalist association (UJA) western region asked Oil companies to always give Bunyoro media first priority in terms of giving out information to the local communities.
Kitakule also asked Oil companies to make some of the information on Oil and gas accessible for the communities in time for them to prepare for their living.
He says the discovery of oil and gas resources in Uganda has brought to the fore debates about how best to manage it to the benefit of the citizens adding that Transparency and accountability has been identified as key to prudent resource governance not only in the case of Uganda but globally.
At the heart of transparency and accountability however, says is the availability of information to the citizens which can enable them to monitor the behaviour of government.
The vice Chairman CNOOC Uganda limited Mr Wang Dongjin pledged to continue with support to the people of Bunyoro to make sure oil doesn’t become a curse.