Oil Is Uganda's Ticking Time Bomb – Oxford Economist


web buy information pills "sans-serif"; font-size: small; mso-bidi-font-family: ‘Times New Roman’;”>He said transparency is key in ensuring the country benefits from its own oil and gas resources.

unhealthy "sans-serif"; font-size: small; mso-bidi-font-family: ‘Times New Roman’;”>“Accountability is only built with transparency. Money corrupts and oil money corrupts absolutely,” he told a huge gathering at Victoria Ball Room, Common Wealth Resort, Munyonyo in Kampala.

“Make sure you devote enough of your revenue to the future. Don’t deplete and simply spend your oil revenues as it happened in the Niger Delta. Once you get into a revolt, you cannot get out,”

Over 4000 folks gathered at the hotel to attend Joseph Mubiru public memorial lecture, organised by Bank of Uganda.

Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka, Bank of Uganda governor Mutebile and civil activist Godber Mushabe attended the function.

Collier said Ugandans are the only ones who can ensure their own oil is put to good use

“Ultimately, the defence of your natural resources does not come from any institution. It comes from you (Ugandans),” he said.

He added: “The Central Bank is your best chance at managing both funds effectively for the benefit of the nation.”

The professor advised against interfering in free markets. “You ride the tiger of commodity pricing. Learn to hedge and build liquidity to secure your nation,” he added amidst a loud applause.


Collier urged government to build legislation to implement a Sovereign Development Fund and separately a Sovereign Resilience Fund for posterity purposes.

He said government needs to pick a leaf from Cameroon where secrecy shrouded their oil discovery thus sparking a civil war.

“To this day, no one can find their oil revenue that was ‘secured’ for the nation by the leadership. Their oil is drying up and they can’t locate the funds ‘secured.’”

He agreed with most opposition politicians in Uganda that responsibility of leadership is key in halting the potential consumption party!

“Remember to save for future generations,” he said, adding, “build strong rules and a critical mass of people to defend them and secure your future. Learn from Chile and Germany.”

He emphasised leadership, accountability and responsibility were the only ways of securing natural resources.


Collier said three policy clocks are ticking simultaneously and these were: resource depletion, investing in investment and erratic commodity price.

“Your savings should be invested here. Your returns are much better. Build your capacity here first. Invest in investing,” he challenged the nation.

He said lessons from Norway should be taken into consideration in management of oil revenue.

“Norway is the best practice globally on using oil revenues through SWFund. Ensure your budget relating to oil and make it public that you maintain accountability. Do not allow spending all your oil,” he said.

“The oil is yours and belongs to the nation. Avoid exaggerated local demands. Build your capacity to observe the extraction to inform your taxation policy. Failure to do so, you shall end up with what other countries have ended up with,” he said.

“Do not carry out exclusive negotiations. If you do a study of resource rich Africa says you shall always lose. Manage your search process for resources. Move rapidly to structured competition through auction.

“You are not condemned to repeat your history of exploitation of the few. Always endeavour to make the right decisions,” he challenged the nation, hardly two days after Parliament announced an adhoc committee to investigate reports that two ministers and a Prime Minister accepted hefty bribes from Tullow oil for favourable deals.

He said Germany is the best run economy in Europe because two generations ago they were the worst! “They then said never again,” he said.

Collier concurred with civil activists that a robust public debate is the only way in which the few fail to exploit the many and the present in robbing the future.

“Consider Botswana & Sierra Leone on how both handled the discovery of diamonds. Oil could be a memorial lecture to Uganda’s poverty as it could to her peace,” he further warned.


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