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90 questions to end the #90DaysofOil campaign.

The #90DaysofOil campaign comes to an end on 15th October with experts lined up to respond to 90 questions raised by the public. The questions touch on the social, economic, health and safety, environmental,  technical aspects, and accountability issues for the upstream projects: Tilenga, King Fisher, Central Processing Facility, East African Crude Oil Pipeline, EACOP, and the refinery projects.  

An example of a question from the public is “ I need clarifications on the refining processes of Uganda’s oil” 10 individuals whose questions were most liked and retweeted by the public have been selected for a fully sponsored trip to the Albertine to tour the projects. 

The number of questions asked is a demonstration of the public’s interest in the oil and gas projects, but also a successful campaign in view of the objectives which included: complementing the government’s communication strategy, showcasing national content achievements, project progress, and Environment, Social, and governance consideration. 

On July 13th, the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) launched an online campaign for the 2nd Edition of 90 Days of oil and gas with the aim to positively influence the general perceptions of Uganda’s oil and gas projects locally and internationally.

The first edition which was done in 2020, at the peak of COVID19 lockdown to give stakeholders hope.

In the latest, the EACOP project is facing negative publicity from activists over a myriad of unsubstantiated reasons, including environmental, and human rights concerns.

But the UCMP campaigns which run a weekly theme for the last 13 weeks,  went on the ground for fact finding, and interviewed different experts, project-affected persons (PAP), contractors, and the general public and found evidence to the contrary. For example, the environmental impact assessments were properly conducted, the public was duly consulted and National Environment Management Authority issued certificates of compliance. 

The project-affected persons have been compensated, depending on their choices. While some opted for cash, others chose resettlement to new homes. In both circumstances, the values offered are higher than the values of their property. 

The good infrastructure in health facilities, roads,  access to clean water, and training and skilling programmes, speak to national content achievement even before the oil comes off the ground. 

Contracts worth $6.8 billion have already been awarded since Final Investment Decision (FID) was taken in February. $ 3 billion is expected to be spent on local companies this year. Uganda’s oil is $15 billion project, but experts said retaining at least 40 % in the country will be good deal. That is besides the actual revenues that will come form direct trade in crude. 

It is a legal requirement that 48% of shares of a foreign company is owned by Ugandan partners. In addition, it is a legal requirement that 70% of all employees in a company be Ugandans, while some services have been ring-fenced for Uganda companies. This is intended to ensure maximum benefits from National Content, which includes monetary values, skills development and technology transfer.

It is evident in practice that the oil and gas is also creating linkages with other sectors of the economy. 

90Days Weekly themes 

Week 1-The upstream and midstream projects under development and their significance.

Week 2-Assessing the socio-economic transformation and linkages thus far- comparing the before and after

Week 3-Environment and Social Impact Assessments for the Albertine oil and gas projects-focus on Environment

Week 4-Energy and Climate Change

Week 5-Significance of EACOP

Week 6-Social License to operate, initiatives by operators, contractors, and sub-contractors

Week 7-National Content performance and employment creation (Economic Dividends)

Week 8- Training and upskilling for people and enterprises- 

Week 9-Sectoral Linkages  and their performances 

Week 10- Access to finance and business support  services for companies

Week 11-Regional benefits  from Uganda’s oil project 

Week 12-Pipelines around the world

Week 13- Accountability and sustainability     

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