HOIMA – As Uganda heads towards the oil and gas production phase, businessmen and women in Bunyoro sub-region have started a process of forming an association which will help them tap into the oil and gas opportunities.
Recently a group of tycoons appointed the interim executive committee and named their association as Albertine Oil and Gas Suppliers Association.
Some of the interim executive committee members are; Biingi Kawiso Julius who was appointed as Interim Chairperson, Owori Martin as Interim Executive Secretary and former Permanent Secretary (PS) Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Dr Kabagambe Kalisa who is the Interim Patron of the association.
Others are; Biribonwa Joseph- Interim Member, and Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Prime Minister, Rt. Hon Byakutaga- Andrew.
Speaking to theCooperator news, Kawiso said that they developed the idea of forming the association after realizing that they lacked a forum to bring business men and women together to advocate for their rights in regard to the oil and gas sector.
He says that the association was formed but they haven’t registered it adding that plans are under way to legalize their association.
“We haven’t decided on the membership fee and the number of the members the association should have but we encourage business people to subscribe to the association once they have registered businesses” Biingi explained, adding that all those issues will be discussed in their second upcoming meeting.
According to him, the association will act as a forum for investors within the Albertine sub- region who are actively operating reputable businesses to prepare and build capacities to meet the standards required to offer goods and services in the oil and gas industry.
He added that the association will also provide an apex body of eminent persons who will advocate and lobby on behalf of members for consideration of business opportunities in industry.
Biingi explained that through the association, they are able to get information and guidance on upcoming oil and gas opportunities among others.
He noted that the oil and gas sector will provide the region with better opportunities and this requires them to get prepared if they are to tap in the sector.
He explained that the business of oil and gas continues to be challenging, complex and sometimes uncertain and this calls for business communities to have strong partnerships to rely on to benefit from the sector as local suppliers.
In a recent association virtual meeting Kyaligonza Mathew, the National Content Manager China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) oriented the association on available opportunities in the oil and gas sector.
Kyaligonza, highlighted several ongoing oil and gas projects such as construction of critical oil roads, airport, pipeline and refinery construction as some of the opportunities business community and residents of Bunyoro can benefit from either directly or indirectly.
He noted that security services, transport, health, accommodation and catering among others are some of the ring-fenced opportunities for the local suppliers.
However, he says that there is a need for business communities in Bunyoro, to prepare for the sector by registering on the National Supplier Data Base and keep updated with the oil and gas information.
He also challenged the business community to join strong partners with experiences in the sector; form associations which will help them share information and form joint ventures if they are to reap big from the lucrative oil sector.
Agaba Edgar, one of the association members and Managing Director of Spice FM based in Hoima town said that the formation of the association was long overdue adding that oil and gas as well as other sectors will provide several opportunities.
He advised that there should be a way of getting farmers organized in groups or cooperatives to be able to produce quality products to supply the sector.
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