The Executive Director of Uganda Petroleum Authority, Ernest Rubondo, has said there is need for local investors to partner with international companies in order to tap into oil opportunities.
Rubondo said although the government of Uganda has already put in place policies and procedures to ensure that Ugandan companies actively participate in the oil and gas sector development, these policies may not be helpful if the companies lack the capacity and capital to fulfill the responsibilities.
He therefore asked the local investors to look for international partners who have specialized skills and resources that the local companies might not have.
“This will allow the local companies to scale up their operations a lot faster and give them better chances of new businesses in the mineral and other sectors at a minimal cost,” Rubondo said.
Rubondo was speaking during an oil and gas business forum that was hosted by Stanbic Bank Uganda in partnership with the Industrial Bank and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC) at the Sheraton Hotel Kampala on Friday.
Rubondo noted that China has been a great partner to Uganda in infrastructure development and other sectors hence the need for greater cooperation between Uganda and Chinese companies.
At the same function, the Chief Executive Officer Stanbic Bank, Patrick Mweheire, said that the oil and gas sector is Uganda’s best chance to finally grow its economy to a middle one.
“The confirmation of commercially viable qualities of oil and gas in Uganda has created a lot of interest and could potentially be the game changer as far as transformation of our economy is concerned,” Mweheire said.
He added that the conference was an opportunity for the Ugandan companies and their Chinese counterparts to get in-depth understanding of possible partnership opportunities, guide Ugandan businesses on what it will take to participate in the sector and give valuable business insights from the two financial giants who are uniquely placed to help them ahead in the oil and gas sector.
“Stanbic bank and ICBC have enjoyed a long standing relationship in providing financial solutions to small and medium and large companies doing businesses between Africa and china. We offer financial guidance as well as assistance to our customers and we are prepared to help our customers with their financial needs as Uganda gets ready to tap into the oil and gas sector.”
On the role of ICBC and Stanbic in the oil and gas sector, Wang Lubin, the Chief Executive Officer ICBC said: “ICBC and Stanbic bank are readily placed to play a leading role in the development of the oil and gas sector. We have been working with the government and other private companies who are executing a number of oil related infrastructure development projects and have vast experience working together on large scale projects across the continent.”
He added: “To date, Stanbic Bank and ICBC have jointly financed deals worth 15 billion dollars between Africa and china. We therefore encourage Uganda and Chinese business companies to trust us because we are the only banks viable to help these kinds of deals succeed.”
Uganda’s oil and gas sector is expected to attract an investment of about 14 billion dollars with the majority of it going to infrastructure development.
Recently, Stanbic was appointed alongside Mitsui of Japan as Joint financial advisors for the 1,445km Uganda Tanzania crude oil pipeline.