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Opinion: Forget the Presidential Handshake, the Oil Revenues not been remitted since 2010; so what value have the Norwegian Oil Development Programmes in this mess?

ntv-01-03-2017-oil

“Oil Cash Probe: About 2.4 trillion shillings of oil revenues received since 2010 has not been remitted to Bank of Uganda” (NTV Uganda, 01.03.2017).

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the National Resistance Movement and all the other civil servants that has been working and living with the knowledge of the unaccounted funds. The 2.4 trillion shillings is above $ 663m dollars. That is massive amount funds that could be used to all sorts of government programs. However, there been programs to secure the revenue and the progress, which is done in collaboration with the Norwegian government. I address these programs and wonder if they only exist on papers to make the ugly truth look decent. Since, the revelation of the funds that gone missing without a trace.

This misdirection points to another explanation for the oil curse that is gaining favour: politics. Because oil money often flows directly from Big Oil to the Big Man, as Africa’s dictators are known, governments have little need to raise revenues through taxes. Arvind Subramanian of the IMF argues that such rulers have no incentive to develop non-oil sources of wealth, and the ruled (but untaxed) consequently have little incentive to hold their rulers accountable” (The Economist, 2005).

Norwegian Funding for transparent Oil development:

Cooperation between Uganda and Norway on capacity and institutional development has a long history through several successful Programmes. Norwegian assistance under Oil for Development in Uganda started in 2006 under the programme “Strengthening the State Administration of the Upstream Petroleum Sector in Uganda”. This programme ended in June 2009 after three and a half years of successful implementation. Total funding for this Programme was NOK 21,294,650” (…) “The Programme had three Pillars – Resource Management, Environment Management and Revenue Management Pillar, in addition to a Programme Management, and was allocated a total funding of 80,000,000 NOK for its five year duration (2009 to 2014). However, during the second and third Annual Meetings for the Programme that were held on 27th January 2011 and 31st January 2012 respectively, the need to expand several activities of the Programme and the addition of new ones due to the rapid growth of the oil and gas sector in the country, was presented and approved by the Embassy. Additional funding of 67,000,000 NOK was allocated during September 2013 and the addenda to the Programme Agreement and Institutional Corporation Contract were signed” (MoEMD, P: 7-8, 2015).

Oil Press Statement 01.03. P1Oil Press Statement 01.03. P2

Supposed Revenue Administration:

The Program supported the development of a system (the petroleum tax manual) which will be used to identify and harmonize activities in the petroleum sector for taxation purposes. This activity is in three (3) parts and has been supported by the Oil Taxation Office (OTO) in Norway. Consultative meetings were held and Part II of the manual was completed in April 2014. Parts I and III have been reviewed and will be completed in next phase of the program with support from OTO” (MoEMD, P: 16, 2015).

That means that the Ugandan Government gotten by the Norwegian Government the amount of 168,294,650 NOK, which if you convert it is the total 71,879,499,032.99 UGX or 71bn shillings. If you translate it into dollars it is above $18 million dollars. That is massive sum of donations for some common good. Therefore, it is insulting that the Oil Cash Probe is showing massive amount shillings are unattained or even can verify where the oil money is.

Therefore, that the Norwegian state continues to fund the Ugandan government with the new agreement of continued oil development on the 15th May 2015. That was in a signed agreement between Hon. Matia Kasaija of Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) and the Norwegian ambassador Thorbjørn Gaustadsæther. This was an continued effort to as the agreement stated: “The Impact of this programme will thus contribute to achieving the goal of the Uganda National Oil and Gas Policy (2008): “To use the country’s oil resources to contribute to early achievement of poverty eradication and create lasting value to society”. “The Program that the states agreed upon for the years from 2015 was 19 million NOK, in 2016 was 18 million NOK and in 2017 supposed to be 16 million NOK. In total the Norwegian Support for these three years are 53 million NOK” (Agreement between the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government of the Republic of Uganda regarding development cooperation concerning “Strengthening the Management of the Oil and Gas Sector in Uganda – Phase II, 15th May 2015).

The Norwegian government have supported the Ugandan government over two periods with funds to secure the Oil Development for human resource, drilling technic and revenue stream. Therefore with the recent revelations shows that the works of the cooperation have been very fruitless or pointless; then even as the programs are in the works, you see the massive amount of petrodollars disappearing in thin-air. This is just to establish the amount of funds together before 2015 and after, that being the amounts of 221,294,650 NOK or 94,516,067,983.63 or 94bn Uganda Shillings. That is insulting lots of monies when the knowledge of missing 2 trillion shillings!

I start to wonder what they really did on this one and how they duped their European counterparts, as the results of the bidding is that funds dating back to 2010 is unaccounted for and not allocated in the funds their supposed to be at Bank of Uganda. This is a dozens loads of handshakes and giant robbery of the reserves.

presidential-handshake-2015

So now I am not so concerned with the “Presidential Handshake” worth 6bn shillings, which is bad enough that the NRM regime has been doling away to all civil servants and other loyal subjects after the “historic” tax settlement that we’re won in the courts. So 6 billion shillings turns into 2.4 trillion shillings, which is vast fortunes misspent by regime that clearly doesn’t care for accountability or transparency. The oil-deal between the government and the licenced in the Lake Albertine Basin!

Other than the little knowledge that was dropped in the 2014 report made by the NGO Global Witness that stated this: “Consequently it is not currently possible to track payments by international oil companies into government accounts with Tullow Oil being the only company voluntarily publishing disaggregated payments to the Ugandan Government. This creates the risk that any theoretical tax avoidance by companies or embezzlement by government officials may go unnoticed (Global Witness makes no claim of any such wrongdoing in relation to the contracts we have examined in this report). This will be increasingly important as oil production begins and more and bigger payments begin to flow into government accounts” (Global Witness, P: 35, 2014).

So this report alone states the fact that world and citizens of Uganda cannot know where the revenue ends. The state supposed petroleum revenue is not visible since 2010. The Ugandans people should be terrified and be mad of the obvious thieving. When the licenced public resources get squandered away and the black gold gets tricked away. So that President Museveni have within his powers and with his cronies made sure the fortunes made on licencing oil in the Lake Albertine basin goes to his or other associates accounts, instead of into government accounts in the Bank of Uganda.

2. Trillion shillings are not a chicken or a small fee easily to lose, it is not something that get earned over a hot minute. The citizens are kept in dark with the funds earned and taken away over years into secret accounts through sophisticated financial instruments. Certainly, Museveni and his bands of brothers who squeezed the government for decades and this is the final nail of salvaging any good reputation. The rep of the Museveni is already barely legal; still this here is just insane that the little 6 billion “handshake” to a bunch of civil servants and NRM elites revealed the madness.

So there was one guy in court who actually had the courage to reveal the greatest crime in decades. Even as the rigging of elections is thieving the country of their representation and of their true leaders, the government isn’t represented by legitimate people, but the ones there is now thieving the whole oil fund. This is not okay, this is thieving the future and the present development, as the Museveni regime and the NRM does not care about their citizens when so much revenue of the petroleum went missing. Peace.

Reference:

The Economist – ‘The curse of oil – The paradox of plenty’ (20.12.2005) link: http://www.economist.com/node/5323394

Global Witness: ‘A Good Deal Better? Uganda’s Secret Oil Contracts Explained’ (2014)

Republic of Uganda – Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development – ‘Strengthening the Management of the Oil and Gas Sector in Uganda –  Phase II – 2015-2018 –  A Development Programme in Co-operation with Norway’ (March 2015)

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