This week there been new talks of the East African Crude Oil Pipe Line (EACOP). That comes after the European Union Parliament came with a Motion, which reflect dire concerns about it. The EACOP pipeline will go from the Lake Albert Basin down to Port of Tanga in Tanzania. It is a joint venture deal, but the one who has the most leverage is the French Company Total. While EACOP itself is a United Kingdom based corporation.
The others with smaller stakes are the Uganda National Oil Corporation (UNOC) and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC). Not to forget the even smaller ownership of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation. So, it is not like the EACOP or the drilling of petroleum is done by solely Ugandan ownership either. Not like Tanzania has a huge stake in it either.
Yes, CNOOC and Total will pay taxes and transport fees of sorts, which is normal for a pipeline to the respective nations. However, they are still able and licenced to drill or exploit the oil fields in the Lake Albert Basin. They are doing that and then later transporting the petroleum from Bunyoro to the coast of Tanzania, which is a long pipeline over vast different environments, which could cause harm or endanger it even. That’s only one thing in this enterprise.
The drilling and exploitation of the petroleum in Lake Albert basin and parts of it is done in Murchison Falls National Park. Meaning the ones with the licence to drill will do so in areas, which has already been facilitated to reserve the nature and the habitats of the species living there. In beautiful surroundings and unique as well. Therefore, the whole petroleum industry could cast a spell on the area as a whole. Especially, if there was something going wrong or an “accident” would occur, which could cause massive damage to the areas.
The EU Parliament Motion has been called “colonial” and “Supremacist” also said to block industrial development in East Africa. They are calling it undermining and saying the Europeans should mine their own business. Which is very ironic, when Total, the French company is the main investor and company involved. The lions share of it run by Total and not by anyone else. Before that UK businesses Tullow and Heritage had vast control of the licences to drill in Lake Albert Basin. So, it’s very weird to call one thing “colonial” and yet allowing the same “colonial” enterprises to run business there.
The Ugandans speaking ill of it. Should first ask for Good Governance and proper due diligence over the projects. The development done and the deals should be looked into. Because, little to none is public. Only the diplomatic papers and some shareholding or ownership details are known. The licencing deals for drilling is “secret” and the transactional parts of also under wraps. The same with registration and practically ownership of the UNOC and TPDC. They are not entities who is very open or transparent about.
That’s why when the minority isn’t transparent, and the Total company isn’t either. The grand public cannot know what is at stake. Who is getting a cut and who is really earning on it. Not like the monies or the credible profits cannot be siphoned. It is not like it is in the domain of the public or it has a knowledge about that.
That’s the making of the President and his Office. They have kept it all hidden for a reason. It is his business and not the citizens one. It is his “oil” and he can do what he likes. He don’t like nosy people and don’t want to be bothered with real questions. That’s why its been kept secret… and it’s deliberately so. Peace.