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Experts advise government on skilling Ugandans

 

Experts in the oil and gas industry have tipped government on how to fully benefit from the local content by skilling Ugandans so as to make sure they partake in the oil and gas activities.

This was during an oil and gas conference organized by the Association of Uganda Oil and Gas Service Providers (AUGOS) in partnership with the Association of Tanzania Oil and Gas Service Providers (ATOGS)

Dr Ernest Chu Nwapa, the pioneer executive secretary/ CEO of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), in a keynote presentation delivered at the Oil and Gas conference said: “The measurement of local content is how many people you have employed and how many additional years and new skills you have added to the people. Therefore, how much you are doing to change the bulk of the people.”

Nwapa, who prioritized local content for the Nigerian oil and gas industry, said Uganda has a lot to learn from the Nigerian experience. “Local content commitments need to be negotiated in the contracting process and agreements included in the contract,” he said.

Peter Lokeris, the minister of state for Energy and Mineral Development, said achieving local content in Uganda’s oil sector will require concerted effort of all institutions like banks, schools, insurance, private oil companies, tourism, environmentalists and jua kalis.

He said the ministry now knows the skills and services needed in the oil sector and is in the process of developing a database to fill these positions.

“We are looking at foreigners but if a Ugandan can fill the position, he/she will have the first opportunity,” he said.

Ernest Rubondo, the executive director of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda, said all entities who will work in the oil sector must be certified and registered in the National Supplier Database to ensure that Ugandans and foreigners who will work in the oil sector are monitored.

“Now we have 1,200 entities listed and we continue to register,” he said.

According to statistics, local employment in Uganda’s  oil sector has  increased to 83 per cent of 262 direct workforce. Some 2,298 Ugandans are indirectly employed by the sector. He also said an estimated 5,700 induced Jobs were created.

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