Experts from the oil and gas sector from Norway and Uganda experts on Tuesday addressed the public on the impacts of oil and Gas industry on the society.
In his remarks, Mr. Hans Peter Christophersen said given this lectures theme,” Reflection’s on the impacts of developing on oil and gas industry on society.”
Uganda is still an under developing country which is currently on its first journey of oil drilling, but it should not have the excitement of Oil exploration because it has far more devastating effects on society than it can imagine. Mr. Hans Cities South Sudan, Chad, Ivory Coast and Venezuela as examples of Nations that have relied on Oil, but have ended up rather increasing on vicious circles of poverty in their nations, thus ranking among the world’s poorest nations.
‘Don’t let Oil cripple your economy. Carefully plan for the revenues you gain from Oil.” He remarks
He adds empires, and industries have risen and fallen because of the discovery of Oil. Land disputes such as those in Hoima district intensified, causing instabilities in the area. Such effects weaken the country’s labor force, markets for the Oil, and discourages foreign investment. Oil is also very sensitive. It can have damaging effects on the environment especially causing soil erosion and weaken ecosystem.
Mr. Hans concludes by cautioning Ugandans to choose the right partners, be patient because oil is a long time venture with constant price fluctuations, find balance, have right timing and planning, and manage expectations.
“Oil is a long time venture, always ensure that at the end of it all, you have reaped what you have sowed” He said
He adds that the revenue collected from the Oil sector should be injected in other sector’s such as Mining, Fishing and Tourism that will create more jobs for the locals, increase on the country per capita income, and also the revenue collected.
Dr Sebastiano Rwengabo, A research fellow at Advocates Coalition for development and Environment – ACODE) closes the event by drawing lessons for Uganda, he remarks that Ugandans should choose the right partner’s such as Norway to help them build the right capacity and technical expertise because Norway has been in the this sector for many years.
Adding that society should also not face the negative impacts of Oil, but rather use effective laws, and hire skilled expertise to manage the sector.
” Put into implementation what you have learnt today, however government must be accountable and transparent, choose the right investments, an implement the right laws to govern this sector through better licensing laws that will strengthen this institution ” He said.