China-Uganda relationship benefits the Chinese, BoU Paper states!

This should not surprise you, that the Chinese government and their subsidiary businesses are making sure they are gets the best deal with the Ugandan counterparts. The Bank of Uganda policy paper are spelling out the advantages for the Chinese in the bilateral and the state-to-state offerings given to the Ugandans. They are clearly getting infrastructure loans and plyaing minor rolse in GVCs, therefore, the Ugandans are people loaning for infrastructure and then repaying, while the Chinese contractors and Chinese labor are working on the indebted projects. Just take a look, it is not a positive read!

It should be emphasised, however, that for Uganda to leverage the shifting growth dynamics in China (such as a shrinking labour force, rising wages and an appreciated Renminbi), it must create a conducive investment climate. Low wages and a competitive exchange rate alone will not make much difference without reliable power and transport links, or in the face of suffocating bureaucracy and corruption” (Bank of Uganda, P: 6, 2017).

With the migration of labour-intensive manufacturing shifting from China and an improvement in investment climate, Uganda also stands to expand its involvement in global trade, including Global Value Chains (GVCs). Historically, countries like Uganda have played a relatively minor role in GVCs. Figure 5 below, which illustrates a useful measure of Uganda’s integration in GVCs, relative to other sub-Saharan countries, indicates that Uganda is below the average value-chain position for developing countries” (Bank of Uganda, P: 6, 2017).

It must be pointed out that while China has emerged as a significant financer of infrastructure projects in Africa, it still lags behind both private investment and the more traditional sources of funding. Recent research actually reveals that, over the past few years, China has contributed about only one-sixth of the US$30 billion Africa receives annually as external finance for infrastructure” (…) “Moreover, most of this financing to the transport and energy sector takes the form of state-to-state, non-concessional deals and comes from the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank). Examples of the major state-to-state deals signed with China Exim Bank in Uganda include: US$1.4 billion and US$483 million for Karuma and Isimba hydropower dams as well as US$350 million for the construction of the Kampala-Entebbe express highway” (Bank of Uganda, P: 7-8, 2017).

For Uganda, which has so far committed up to US$ 2.3 billion in contracts with China Exim bank and is soon to take on more debt for projects like the Standard Gauge Railway, debt sustainability is a growing issue of concern; underscored by the fact that the country faces a low tax-to-GDP ratio relative to its regional peers and significant public investment challenges. Uganda’s debt as a percentage of revenues has risen by 54% since 2012 and is expected to exceed 250% by 2018, raising calls for caution and improved public investment management from various policy circles including the IMF, World Bank and Moody’s, which downgraded Uganda’s long-term bond rating in 2016 citing deteriorating debt affordability” (Bank of Uganda, P: 10, 2017).

This here report shows both the possible troubles with the debt, that already are problem with current budget, but will become bigger. Secondly, that the relationship and bilateral business agreements with China, will only benefit China and not Uganda. As they might get the infrastructure projects, but they have to repay the debt and also use funds on labor from the Chinese contractors and businesses. They are not hiring and educating locals to work these sorts, because Chinese are getting their own hired.

This here is not bringing positive results, but instead are being a nice debt collector for China and will be indebted to them. While the Ugandans gets scarps from the Chinese, as the infrastructure projects like the Dam they have bought on debt, has been said is “shoddy” work. That proves the Chinese gets easy money, get expat workers and later returns on every single Yen. Peace.

Reference:

Dollar, David; Mugyenyi, Akura & Ntungire, Nicole – ‘How can Uganda benefit from China’s economic rise?’ (August 2017) – International Growth Centre Uganda & Bank of Uganda

OAG Muwanga explains in two reports problems and errors within the Petroleum Industry!

The Auditor General has two reports on the Petroleum Industry and the issues of Petroleum Data and the Petroleum Fund. The errors of the state, the PAYE of the tax to URA. Proves that the monies earmarked for the Petroleum Fund, ends up in the Consolidation Fund. This is proof of the problematic use of the added taxes before the oil adventure really takes off and the drilling of the explored blocks in the Lake Albertine Basin. Where already different international companies have come to drill and the state is making a petroleum pipeline to Port Tanga in Tanzania. Therefore, these vast resources and possible taxes created by the industry and within the Republic. Still, the default problems that the Auditor General address can be fixed. It is just a matter of morals and actually following guidelines. Some are even set in the Public Finance and Management Act of 2015, so if for instance URA follows it, the problems of transactions into wrong fund can create payment arrears and also future problem of spending by the state. Since the misuse of funds and taxes can be allocated to other than what they was expected, as the Consolidation Fund has other uses than the Petroleum Fund. Just take a look!

Petroleum Fund:

For the six months ending December 31, 2016, the Fund received non tax revenue worth UGX 922,348,854 (USD270,900) as surface rental fees from Tullow Uganda Operations Pty and Total E & P Uganda” (OAG, P: 7, 2017).

It was however noted that monies collected by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) under the income tax on income derived from petroleum operations such as PAYE, VAT and WHT is not being remitted to the Uganda Petroleum Fund. This contravenes the Public Finance and Management Act 2015” (…) “In their opinion PAYE is not tax charged on income derived from petroleum operations but paid by the employees and as such it had been excluded from the definitions of petroleum revenues. Arising out of the above it was established that UGX.l1,390,530,053 collected through the commercial banks and remitted to the consolidated fund should have instead been transferred to the Petroleum Fund. Management has promised to remit it to the Petroleum Fund before closure of the financial year 2016/17” (OAG, P: 10, 2017).

During the period under review, the fund received USD 270,900 (Two hundred seventy thousand, nine hundred dollars) in respect of surface area rentals consisting of USD 113,400 (One hundred thirteen thousand, four hundred dollars) paid by Total E& P Uganda for the development areas of Ngiri, Jobi-Rii and Gunya and USD 157,500 was paid by Tullow Uganda Operations Pty Ltd for development areas of soga, gege, Kasemene, Wahrindi, Nzizi-Mputa & Waraga, and Kigogole- Ngara Unrealised foreign exchange gains worth UGX 15,093,435,449 have been recognised in the Statement of Changes in Equity. These arose from translating the USD opening balances and revenue collected during the period into UGX at the closing rate for reporting purposes” (OAG, P: 14, 2017).

Petroleum Data:

The oil companies did not fully comply with submission of reports relating to their drilling, exploration activities and operations as required. Delays and non-submission of reports results in an incomplete database which may reduce the effective use of the database in petroleum resource management” (OAG, P: vi, 2016). “The shortcomings in the management of petroleum data by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development may affect the completeness of the data on the existing petroleum potential, extent of reserves, and amount recoverable thus reducing Uganda’s ability to maximally exploit and benefit from its oil and gas resource potential. A thorough understanding of the resource base and its geographical distribution informs key decisions on the rate of exploitation and potential future revenues” (OAG, P: viii, 2016).

This should all be worrying that the State and the Industry isn’t sufficiently ready for the activity, as the URA cannot even allocate funds correctly. This is even before the Petroleum Data is taken care of and made sure that the exploitation and drilling happens where the best well is within the block. Secondly, the real value of the reports and the licenses that the state would offer to the companies. That because the flow of data and the status of it wouldn’t be where it could be. This is losses created by maladministration and lacking will of institutionalize the knowledge. Instead, the Petroleum Industry is controlled and has just a few handshakes away from the State House. That is why the URA might have delivered the funds to the Consolidation Fund instead of the Petroleum Fund. All of the potential might be wasted in the lack of protocol and care of resources management that is needed in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MoEMD).

The recommendations and the looks into the issues should be taken serious by the Petroleum Industry and the MoEMD. So the state could both earn more on the industry and also create more positive growth through the provisions that is already made in Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) 2015. So time will tell if they will be more reckless, if they will listen to the OAG or if the Presidential Handshakes will steal it all for keeping the NRM cronyism at bay. Peace.

Reference:

Office of the Auditor General Uganda – ‘REPORT OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL ON THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS OF THE PETROLEUM FUND FOR THE SIX MONTH PERIOD ENDED 31sT DECEMBER 2016’ (07.06.2017) – John F.S. Muwanga

Office of the Auditor General Uganda – ‘Management of Petroleum Data by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development’ (December 2016) – John F.S. Muwanga

A look into the Oil Road Cost: the Hoima-Butiaba-Wanseko Road!

As the Budget Framework paper for Financial Year 2017/2018 in Uganda, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) requested for the roads a total of Shs. 1,779bn and the required just to build the road in this budget year alone where 1,107bn. This was seen as a strategic area from the state, as the road is seen as one of them Oil Roads. Which, is one of the most important projects the government has, as the future profits of these are soon all used before the drilling starts. This with the giant projects and the misuse of funds. This is epitome with the Hoima-Butiaba-Wasenko road! Just take a look at the reports collected on the road. But the official paper of the budget said otherwise than the framework, who was just nonsense.

While the Budget report to the Parliament of May 2017 Vote 113 UNRA Hoima – Wanseko Oil Road Shs. 29.00bn. This funds will be available after reconciliation of numbers. While the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) where planning proposed numbers for the Oil Roads and the Hoima – Wanseko road where the length of 83 kilometers, and the budget was 444bn. Which is a bit more than the vote! And doesn’t fit with the records even. The numbers are staggering and confusing. As to put it further every unit or kilometers are estimated to cost 5,35bn. So the cost of the oil-road just in this budget year is insane.

Hon. Cecilia Ogwal expresses concern about the cost of the Hoima-Butiana-Wasenko oil road of shs53billion per kilometre” (Parliament, 31.05.2017). The Road that is under construction and is upgraded are 111 kilometers road. If the MP’s estimate is correct means the road cost shs. 5,883bn or Shs. 5.8 trillions. In the budget plenary session on the 31st May 2017 she was also very adamant that the roads who we’re budgeted without feasability studies should be cut and get other use of the funds. Still, that didn’t happen. One of these roads was the oil-road of Hoima-Butiaba-Wasenko. But with this years Budget report and actual feasibility study alone, proves the state will use 444bn on the road. As the other reports prove what they we’re planning to use. But this project started in 2015 and the reports of the misspending on it, seems so big as it gets. So the Road development and the Oil Road could be proof of another UNRA scandal. Take a look!

The works on Hoima-Butiaba- Wanseko road are expected to start during the second half of 2015. This is subject to availability of funding for the project,” said Dan Alinange, the UNRA head of corporate communications” (Rwothungeyo, 2014).

Hoima-Butiaba-Wanseko cost Shs. 454bn:

Works minister John Byabagambi and the new Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) executive director Allen Kagina have agreed to handpick a contractor for Hoima-Butiaba-Wasenko road despite an earlier petition on influence-peddling and fraud in the process. Mr Byabagambi has also changed from his earlier position where he opposed the move, when he was still a junior minister. A whistleblower had raised the red flag in a petition to Ms Kagina indicating that the project cost had been inflated by Shs66 billion ($20 million)” (…) “The 111km road stretches from Hoima to Butiaba on Lake Albert and one of the major corridors in the oil-rich Albertine Graben in south western Uganda. The project is expected to cost Shs454 billion” (Musisi, 2015).

UNRA on the Spot:

The third road project, pointed out by the whistleblower is the 55km Hoima-Butiaba-Wanseko road. According to the dossier, bids for the road were opened on January 22, 2016 and the deal was awarded to China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) at Shs 398 billion. According to the whistleblower, this would translate into $2m per kilometre, which is exorbitant. The whistleblower notes that this is way above construction estimates posted on the Unra website, which are at $960,000 per kilometre. Later, after an outcry from some bidders, Unra cancelled the deal, the whistleblower says. “The IGG should investigate the people who crafted this ignominious evaluation and bring them to book. They should even be interdicted as investigations continue,” notes the dossier. The whistleblower claims that roads in the oil sub-region of Bunyoro have been restricted to only Chinese firms because of the funding from Exim bank. Local and other foreign firms, the dossier noted, were left out” (Kiggundu, 2017).

So the prices of the budget framework and the budget report of 2017/2018, as the whistleblower of early May 2017 are clearly saying that the $2m per kilometers on the Hoima-Butiaba-Wanseko. If the US Dollars are Currency converted into Uganda Shillings which means the price per kilometers are Shs. 7,187bn, that means the price calculated by the budget and the MoFPED are Shs. 5,35bn. That means that are a difference in the price per kilometers which is Shs. 1.837bn. If the budget would be correct than the total price for the 83 kilometers, would e 596bn. I also find it strange that the UNRA budget and length on the FY 2017/2018 is 83 kilometers, as the initial length was 111 kilometers. That is also a length of roads that suddenly couldn’t disappear.

This road is surely more expensive than the government wants it to be, or certainly some lost public funds. Not shocking in the nation run by National Resistance Movement. The total tally of the cost will be revealed, but is not yet. Peace

Reference:

Kiggundu, Edris – ‘UNRA on spot over Chinese contracts’ (03.05.2017) link: http://observer.ug/news/headlines/52685-unra-on-spot-over-chinese-contracts.html

Musisi, Frederic – ‘Minister, Kagina hand-pick contractor’ (26.06.2015) link:http://mobile.monitor.co.ug/News/Minister–Kagina-hand-pick-contractor/2466686-2765360-format-xhtml-9uhqklz/index.html

Rwothungeyo, Billy – ‘Hoima-Butiaba-Wanseko road for upgrade’ (02.01.2014) link: http://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1336203/hoima-butiaba-wanseko-road-upgrade

EAC: Signing of the Inter-Governmental Agreement between the Republic of Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Project (26.05.2017)

Communique between the President of Tanzania and President of Uganda on Bilateral Talks between the Two Countries on the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Project on the 21st May 2017 at the State House Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania (21.05.2017)

Ugandan economy could get Oil-Shocks due to external factors, recent BoU report claims!

Surprise, surprise the Bank of Uganda (BoU) has made a working paper on the possible consequences of the oil price, the oil exports and the oil imports on the Ugandan economy. This didn’t exceed my expectation of a report or paper, but said enough to clearly anticipate changes in the economy with the coming export. Even as the BoU called the domestic oil production in embryonic stages, which means the real impact will come when it is closer petroleum production the GDP and CPI feel more impact of the oil prices and the volumes exported from the Lake Albert Basin.

That the Ugandan State and the Republic of Uganda, should know that the fresh foreign exchange and currency into the economy, as the domestic parts of petroleum is not having big impact on the economy! Still, the export can change it as the oil prices and change the consumer price index for instance. Take a look!

One such shock that is a source of major concern and risks to monetary policy-making in Uganda is the oil shock. To our knowledge, the effects of oil shocks in Uganda, to date, have not yet been analyzed. The objective of this paper therefore, is to analyze the nature and importance of oil shocks to Uganda’s economy in a dynamic framework” (Nyanzi & Bwire, P: 4, 2017).

According to the Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (2012), oil provides about 10 percent of Uganda’s energy requirements – the rest is sourced from the small and underdeveloped and unreliable electricity sub-sector and the cheap biomass energy. The oil sector was also deregulated in 1994, under the broad structural reforms implemented by the Government of Uganda, which effectively eliminated oil prices subsidies. Uganda is endowed with commercially-viable oil reserves, but domestic oil production is in embryonic stages. Consequently, all of the oil-energy needs of the country are satisfied by imports” (Nyanzi & Bwire, P: 8, 2017).

The results of the variance decomposition in regard to oil shock are not entirely unexpected, given the structure of Uganda’s economy. Oil and its products constitute 8 percent of total intermediate consumption and 10 percent of energy requirements. In addition, oil is crucial to electricity supply in Uganda because hydro-electricity is unreliable and insufficient. This implies little or no substitutability of oil with hydro-electric energy in production in case of adverse oil shock, which could justify the long-run 20 percent variance in output due to oil shocks. Regarding consumer prices, the small percentage of variance in consumer prices due to oil shocks is justified by the small weight of oil in the CPI basket. Oil constitutes about 1 percent in the 2009/10 rebased CPI basket, of which 0.8 percent is oil for personal transportation and 0.2 percent a source of liquefied energy at home. These numbers are not surprising given that over 75 percent of the population live in rural areas and depend mainly on wood and charcoal as a source of energy, and that rates of car ownership are generally low. Moreover, the main source of short-run volatility in the Uganda CPI is weather-related factors affecting food prices. This leaves the bulk of fluctuations in the core consumer prices (Comprising over 80 percent) explained by demand” (Nyanzi & Bwire, P: 18, 2017).

Oil shocks are transmitted through the supply channel, as a shock that increases the international price of oil leads to opposite movements in real output and consumer prices in Uganda” (Nyanzi & Bwire, P: 19, 2017).

It is hard to say how it could impact and how the petroleum production and exports will change the economy, how the prices and the inflation, as the measure of how much the price of the crude-oil will be at the given time. That the government has secret agreements with oil companies and also agreements with other to build the crude-oil pipeline that goes to Tanzania. Therefore, the reaction in the economy is not yet known, but with the background and knowledge of the how it is now. Most likely a real output and change in consumer prices in Uganda.

That will be an oil-shock no-one can be prepared for. Unless the Government and Parliament created legislation and policies who might soften the change of the economy. Therefore, with this in mind, the National Resistance Movement, the State House and the President Museveni have work to do. That is if they consider the implication the petroleum production and exports will have on inflation, currency value and consumer prices index as well. This report should open some eyes into it, but it should not be surprising. Peace.

Reference:

Nyanzi, Sulaiman & Bwire, Thomas – ‘Working Paper No. 04/2017 – The Macroeconomic responses to Petro Shocks for Uganda’ (May, 2017)

Uganda’s Growth in the Era of Oil and Volatility (Youtube-Clip)

“Despite the slump in global oil prices, the start of commercial oil production in Uganda in 2018 offers long-term prospects to diversify the country’s economy and catapult it to upper middle income status in 30 years, according to the country’s new economic memorandum” (World Bank, 2016).

Mzee have finally wiped out the opposition as he promised after the announced victory!

Museveni Kenya Speech 2016

“I will wipe out the opposition completely in the next 5 years. NRM is going to be stronger” – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

Let be clear, right after announced victory from the Electoral Commission and Eng. Dr. Badru Kiggundu, President Museveni said that he would wipe out the opposition and he has done it with passion and certainly soon done it as his duty. In a way to make sure that the Multi-Party system in the Nation is a flop.

The opportunities and the silver coined framed opposition figures in the Forum for Democratic Change are joining forces in the Shadow Cabinet to gain some estimated figures from the coffers of Parliament and play the parliamentary pawns that Mzee needs this term.

Betty Amongi Jimmy Akena Statehouse 21.06.2016

While the Uganda People’s Congress are busy trading their soul with NRM, as they are getting two slots in the 81 size cabinet of 2016-2021. The rest of UPC under Olara Otunnu are distancing and in general might even create another branch, and party that becomes a new profile, since they don’t want to be part of the NRM and Obote’s son selling of inheritance to Mzee.

Uganda Federal Alliance have also sold their fortunes for a Cabinet position and is therefore silenced by the Mzee, as she the leader of the party want to serve him and also be a part of his established court.

The hardliners of FDC are either lingering in jail, detained, house-arrested or kidnapped by security forces as the rest of the party are playing hide-and-seek close to Yusuf Lule Road in Kampala. So the party of FDC is even into the half who wants to continue the defiance of Dr. Kizza Besigye, and the ones that are settling for the silver-coins with the lingering blood on it.

Ken Lukyamuzi

The Grand question is: where is the Conservative Party of Ken Lukayamuzi? They are not to be seen, JEEMA are they still out there? Justice Forum and their men who even have been besieged by the Police during the days of officiating Mzee; the smaller parties are totally silent or at a non-approach. Democratic Party and Norbert Mao have addressed concern and the initial connection with the shoot-out in Gulu, while that was not true and government made conspiracy, and with the newly dispatched Amama Mbabazi, the party should be stronger, though their lingering nothingness, proves that the ability that Mzee have had since leaving for his swearing in,

The Police Force monitoring and detaining, silencing and attacking the opposition, together with trading with weaker minded opposition have made the stalemate livable, as the mentor and ticking problem of Besigye, is going from court to court, and addressing charges after charges and even treason, as IGP Kayihura are paying criminals to be witnesses and uses all means, and even most brain-dead police officers to lie in court; like he did in Kasangati Court of late; when the justice had to listen to the testimony of the Police Officer who was a former colonel, but never been to the army. So the truth is that, as long as he doesn’t have a voice, the men are walking around unsure of how behave towards the oppressive and militarized government of National Resistance Movement.

Besigye Nakawa 18.05.2016

All of the Opposition parties are toothless right now, the Human Rights Organizations of Kampala are raided and nothing happens. People and activist are kidnapped, soldiers are being shot and killed in made up conspiracies, while colonels and sergeants are detained as well. The paranoia of the state combined with the militarized politics and police force are taken freedoms and taken all parts of the state. The Opposition is on life support… Who is out there to save it, as the big man Dr. Kizza Besigye is away and nobody else have the legitimacy or the charisma to fight the powers with peaceful means while Mzee uses every tactic in the book to destroy and conquer them. Something he has been successful with ever since election and the reaping results are happening now, as he 10th Parliament are soon in function and the government are soon departing into brown envelopes, as business is back to normal after a hectic year. Peace.