Oil industry sidelining my people – Bunyoro king

Hoima

The Omukama of Bunyoro, Solomon Gafabusa Iguru, has expressed concern that his people may become spectators in the oil industry because they are marginalised.

He asked government to address the outcry of his people affected by oil activities. While opening a local content dialogue organised by Kitara Heritage Development Agency (KHEDA) in Hoima Town at the weekend, Dr Iguru said his people may become onlookers rather that active participants the oil industry.

He noted that his subjects are still nursing the effects of colonial rule which reduced several to landlessness without quality education. “Most of my people are squatters. They lack titles which they can mortgage to get financing for investment,” he said.

The Omukama added that lack of a public university in Bunyoro has affected his people who are struggling to access tertiary education. He asked government to implement an affirmative action to address the outcry of his people.

Buhaguzi County MP Julius Junjura Bigirwa, who spoke on behalf of MPs from Bunyoro sub-region, said the recent appointments of people to the National Oil Company and the Petroleum Regulatory Authority seem not to have given Bunyoro due consideration.

“We may need to evaluate to ascertain whether there was local content and consideration of Bunyoro’s interests in those appointments. We can hardly see a considerable number of the appointees hailing from this region that is hosting the oil and gas resources,” Mr Bigirwa said.

KHEDA Executive Director Shem Byakagaba said the organisation would organise leaders from Bunyoro to form a forum to pursue the region’s oil interests. According to the Permanent Secretary in the Energy ministry, Kabagambe Kaliisa, the government is developing a National Content Policy and Plan on oil and gas industry.

fmugerwa@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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