Members of Parliament have said the oil and gas sector is still engrossed in a culture of secrecy which presents a governance challenge to the sector. “Whereas a number of efforts have been undertaken by the government such as the development of a strong policy, legal and institutional framework, it is still difficult even for Parliament to access information which is pertinent to fostering the much required transparency and accountability in management of the sector," Theodore Ssekikubo, the chairperson of the Parliamentary Forum of Oil and Gas said.
This was during an orientation meeting for members of the forum held in conjunction with International Alert, an NGO promoting good governance in the oil and gas sector. The function was held at the Parliamentary Conference Hall recently.
Ssekikubo added that many oil rich countries have lost their resources to corruption perpetuated through secretive dealings, political patronage at the expense of the common person.
He said extra care was needed to prevent the country falling into the oil curse associated with conflict, income inequality and poverty despite having oil. "Lack of accountability and transparency leads to public discontent. It is our duty to bridge this gap," he noted.
“You should always bear this in mind adding value to minerals so that we get more jobs as well as build technical capacity and a strong base for the economy,” he said.
The President was Wednesday presiding over the 3rd conference on Mineral Wealth held at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel under the theme, 'Uganda’s Transformation - A New Era in Mining'.
The 2-day conference is attended by members of the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum and delegations from several African countries as well as Europe including representatives of financial Institutions in Uganda.
Participants are to discuss ‘what it takes to be a winning nation in terms of development and other pertinent issues regarding the mining Industry’.
Museveni, who gave a detailed account of the mineral sector in Uganda, assured investors that government will ensure that all the necessary requirements for adding value to the minerals, will be available.