By John Odyek
KAMPALA, Uganda’s Petroleum Fund, located in the Bank of Uganda, has received a deposit of 63 million US dollars from the business activities of oil companies operating in the country.
The Public Finance Management Act 2015 establishes a Petroleum Fund into which all petroleum revenues of government will be paid.
Lawrence Kiiza, the director economic affairs at the Ministry of Finance says oil revenues will improve on public finances.
Kiiza said during a regional extractives transparency conference organised by Action Aid and Global Rights Alert here last week that the funds accrued from business activities of oil companies such as Value Added Tax, income taxes and signature bonuses. An additional 244 million USD were expected to be injected into the fund.
He explains that Uganda had borrowed from the models of Norway and Chile in creating the fund, adding that Uganda has learnt from the bad mistakes made by some countries in managing their oil and gas revenues and will try to avoid such mistakes.
Calling for a strong oversight role by Parliament, civil society and media in the distribution of the oil revenues, he says greater accountability is required in the sector, more so at a time when crude oil prices are fluctuating.
As for governance in the oil sector, he says the Ugandan government subscribes to views of the Extractive Index Transparency Initiative (EITI) and is putting in place rules and safety nets required by the EITI. The government is following the EITI requirements as it prepares to join it the Initiative. .