The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has said the August House is determined to push through a Private Member’s Bill on local content despite the reluctance from government.
Kadaga said the bill is intended to boost and protect the livelihoods of local communities and companies that cannot compete with multinational corporations.
The Speaker remarked at the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the coronation of the Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom, Solomon Gafabusa Iguru I at his Karuziika Palace in Hoima District.
“We passed the oil law having included local content but the concerned companies ran to the President saying we passed a stringent law,” said Kadaga.
“The Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaijja, refused to grant the Bill a Certificate of Financial Implication but we shall battle with it,” she said.
Kadaga said it was improper for some of the oil companies to import beef from Argentina and eggs from South Africa for their consumption while they are in Uganda exploring the resource.
Buliisa County MP, Stephen Mukitale said that a law was passed to implement local content so that the locals from the area can benefit from the development that comes with oil exploration in the Albertine region.
“At the onset of oil exploration in the region, we expected to see the companies who are players in the industry employ locals and their services but it was to the contrary,” he said.
Mukitale said licensed companies have been bringing in their own people and construction equipment, adding that that local content is being failed by the fact that there are institutions of higher learning or vocational training to impart skills relevant to the oil field.
Kadaga however encouraged the Omukama to be firm and continue pushing for the demand for Bunyoro University.
In 2015, Parliament, the Speaker said, passed a resolution to avail funding for three regional universities in Bunyoro, Namasagali and Rwenzori. “These were supposed to start in 2016. I have written to the Ministry of Education and the President. MPs have also raised these issues but there are no answers,” she said.