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Archive for the tag “Ugandan Government”

Bank of Uganda: Monetary Policy Statement for October 2019 (07.10.2019)

Opinion: Did the Anti-Corruption Unit at the State House overtake the IGG?

Irene Mulyagonja, the fourth Inspector General of General (IGG), who was appointed to this position in 2012. Are now six years later appointed to Courts of Appeals as a judge. A position she used to have since 2008, when she appointed as a High Court judge back-then. Therefore, she’s returning to her field of work after 7 years in “absence”.

What is clear is that the IGG has lost the mantle, haven’t been as focused or had the pivotal role as it could have had. However, that is not her fault. The state has established a new Anti-Corruption Unit in the State House. The IGG, had already competition with the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) and the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA). Combined with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), the Judiciary and the law-enforcement in general. Therefore, in the field of anti-corruption, there is a bit many chefs to compete with.

So, as an IGG she’s become more of a ghost. But that is because, well, the state has funded and created the State House initiative, which have put the others on the back-burner. Not like they have any prominence or reckoning of late. I cannot even remember a substantial report from either of the authorities in ages. That revealed something substantial or even investigated state owned enterprises nor the government tenders. Its been so little or nothing.

With this in mind, maybe it was a gift from the President to appoint her to the Courts of Appeals. So, she can use her skills, her experience and her knowledge to good use. Since it was wasted at the IGG.

We can hope this is greener pastures, maybe even a relief. Since, the hopelessness and the diverted fight against corruption must be boring. When the ones and cases are directed to the State House and not to the other authorities. Even if their mandate, their mission and their government position is more bearing in law and in print, than the one suddenly created last year.

Well, good luck at a new venture Irene Mulyagonja. We have to see who will be the fifth IGG and who will be the ghost in the machine. Because the role of the IGG has diminished with time. We can just wonder, why they bother even having it at this point and time? Peace.

Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO): Youth and CSO Case angainst TIlenga EIA Certificate set for hearing today (01.10.2019)

A Breakdown: Oil exploitation, which is so taxing…

 

The deal that broke down these days…

In the Republic now its official that the companies that was supposed to buy the stake and the licences to drill for oil from Tullow Oil have backed out. This means, that Total and CNOOC is not operating or willing to foot-the-bill that Tullow left behind.

This is all a play for guards, they all want the slice of the price, but don’t want to be taxed for it. They want tax-holidays for operating and extracting the oil, even as the incentives to build the oil pipeline to Tanga, Tanzania is put on hold. Since a big part of the Lake Albert Basin is still in question. Since, the Tullow Oil doesn’t want to deal with the taxes in question.

Tullow Oil have to back-pay taxes, which it lost in court. They are obliged to pay these, but want the other companies to foot-the-bill, since they will drill and exploit situation. The others gather that this has occurred before they did and that Tullow should pay it. That is why it’s a dead-lock. Because, none of the companies want to pay the taxes.

This is the infamous taxes, which led to the Presidential Handshake drama and wobbling defence of it. That made all the people and civil servants dance for a hot minute. Now, we are seeing the deadlock because of this one.

The state is allowed and should tax the ones whose operating in their territory. Without a question or without any hesitation. Because, they should be able to pay for your rights to be able to do business somewhere. However, here it’s a mismatch of the amounts gained in courts and the planned surrender of Tullow.

Tullow considered that their Farm-Down deal with Total and CNOOC would clear their old debts with the Republic. Instead, the other companies want its shares, but not its past invoices. Which is natural. Because, your paying for other peoples misfortune and cost of operating. That is simple math.

It is Tullow that has done business, who has been operating and whose been in charge of certain parts of Lake Albert Basin. They got to stay responsible. Now, they just looking like a shell-company wanting to be a tax-evasion corporation, who puts their costs on their trading partners.

Within that reason, its understandable that Total and CNOOC wants to have other options and other obligations, also pay their taxes and returns, if they start to drill on the licences previously kept by Tullow. But at this moment, the company think it can get the hook and crook.

Because the victory of the President Handshake isn’t a bargain, but a huge toll for the company. That is why it wish to push the envelope to someone else. This is not natural, but not without a consequence. That they are backing out and giving way. Instead of going into business on these sectors of Lake Albert.

The loss, is also the proposed earnings, the supposed development of the oil sector and the pipeline to Tanzania. As everything stops and shuts its operations. As the CNOOC is sacking employees and who knows what Total does too. Tullow might even do it too, until they find someone who wants to pay their bills. Because, from history they showing that they don’t want too.

The state one, what was theirs, but the companies doesn’t want to pay to play. They want tax-holidays and a free ride to the promised land. That doesn’t happen and therefore, the stalemate and yet another set-back for the oil development there. Peace.

Uganda: Statement on the Status of Tullow Farm Down (29.08.2019)

Tullow Oil terminate agreement with Total and CNOOC over a tax dispute in Uganda

Today, the agreement published between Tullow, Total and CNOOC made a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) on Area 1 and Area 2 in the Lake Albert Basin in the Republic of Uganda. That deal was issued on the 30th August 2016.

Now, nearly three years later. Tullow Oil has now back-tracked and said the deal didn’t go through. Surely the SPA and the Joint Venture Agreement wasn’t settled properly. If not, then the press release of Tullow wouldn’t say this:

Tullow Oil plc (“Tullow”) announces it has been informed that its farm-down to Total and CNOOC will terminate at the end of today, 29 August 2019, following the expiry of the Sale and Purchase Agreements (SPAs)” (…) “The termination of this transaction is a result of being unable to agree all aspects of the tax treatment of the transaction with the Government of Uganda which was a condition to completing the SPAs. While Tullow’s capital gains tax position had been agreed as per the Group’s disclosure in its 2018 Full Year Results, the Ugandan Revenue Authority and the Joint Venture Partners could not agree on the availability of tax relief for the consideration to be paid by Total and CNOOC as buyers” (…) “Tullow will now initiate a new sales process to reduce its 33.33% Operated stake in the Lake Albert project which has over 1.5 billion barrels of discovered recoverable resources and is expected to produce over 230,000 bopd at peak production” (Tullow Oil plc – ‘Termination of farm-down agreement with Total and CNOOC in Uganda’ 29.08.2019).

This deal fell through because the companies didn’t want to compensate each other for back-taxes or the taxation of the possible profits to the Government of Uganda. Something that was approved upon the Joint Venture Agreement in August 2016 with Total and CNOOC.

This shows how hard it is start-up and the issues by operating in Uganda. Even Tullow Oil plc is trying to figure this one out. It was only in January 2017, when the Total was supposed to buy the biggest part of operated stake of 21,5% from Tullow. Surely, with the announcement in 2018 and now in 2019. This has all backfired and stopped, because URA and the companies couldn’t agree on their fees.

That dispute is the one that was interconnected with the “Presidential Handshake” of 2017. As the 6 billions shillings was doled around to civil servants and high ranking officials, who secure the capital tax gain from Heritage/Tullow Oil, which was awarded in February 2015.

Therefore, Tullow has to now find new buyers for their USD $167m stake in the Lake Albert Basin. This would be the payment of the Capital Gain Taxes (Awarded $157 Million) to the Uganda Revenue Authority. Apparently, Total and CNOOC didn’t want to do that apparently.

So from August 2016 to August 2019, the three companies and URA couldn’t come to an agreement on Capital Tax Gain, which Tullow owe URA after losing their case in February 2015. This shows, that the big victory of the state in this matter. Is actually making it harder to find someone who can afford or see it feasible to drill for oil in Area 1 and Area 2.

This is how it seems and the two other companies didn’t want to pay for what Tullow did before them. Peace.

Uganda: Fresh report states that the debt-service has grown 129% within one financial year!

 

The Republic of Uganda’s economy is really reeling, it cannot be sustainable as the Government of Uganda is growing their debt like there is no tomorrow. While the fiscal growth is substantially lower than their rate of debt-service. As the growth of debt combined with lacking growth to substantiate the shortfall.

In addition, with the knowledge of added expenses, growing shortfall of funds in the upcoming Financial Year of 2019/20 and the election year of FY 2020/21. There will be more add-ons on the need for debt service, as the state already had loans outstanding, which the grace period ends and the debt-service begins on. Therefore, the amount of loans will transpire even more, than what is in this report. The endless cycle of debt and growth of it, is worrying, as well, as the state thinks that the magical wand of oil-money will clear this debt. Even as the first operational oil field and such has been postponed yet again.

Just look!

“The total Government of Uganda external debt service by end of FY 2017/18 amounted to US$275.75 million, which was an increment of l29% compared to US$120.62 million in FY 2016/17” (…) “Debt service of Uganda’s external debt is on the rise and outstripping growth of the country’s income, currently at 6%. This poses risks for future debt repayments, especially as the country continues to acquire external debt at less concessional terms, especially to finance the oil development programme” (P: 6-7, 2019)

“It follows that as interest rates increase, the debt service obligations of Government also increases. The rise in external debt interest costs attests to the fact the government is increasingly contracting non-concessional debt, which will increase the repayment burden” (P: 24, 2019)

“However, this may not be the most likely scenario, as most projects have been discounted and some excluded in the macroeconomic framework. With the development of the NDP III, additional project and other pipeline project related to the oil developments and other infrastructure, will increase the financing requirement of government in the medium term. The inclusion of the above projects will re-classify Uganda from low risk of debt distress to moderate risk of debt distress or high risk if the export shocks materialize. A downgrade would have significant implications for the program with the IMF, where Uganda’s credit risk rating will worsen; implying that accessibility of nonconcessional financing will be limited. This will limit credit to Uganda to only concessional and grants financing.” (P: 28, 2019)

You don’t need to smart about it, as the state has bigger budgets with higher shortfall in the economy, combined with debt service and higher interest payments on the growing amount of loans. You know sooner or later, the economy will tank, as the fiscal responsibility is taken for granted and that fresh funds are lacking, because these are taken out of the economy to finance the payments of the old debts. Instead of generating growth and actually naturally grow the economy, by spending and investing as a state. The money is taken away to service debt, instead of building the state. That is what they are doing and at a alarming rate. Peace.

Reference:

NEC1-19 – ‘REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL ECONOMY ON THE STATE OF INDEBTEDNESS, GRANTS AND GUARANTEES’ June 2019, Parliament of Uganda

Uganda Peoples Congress: Caution on Coffee Bill (17.07.2019)

New details in the UN Experts Report: On the Illegal Gold Export from Butembo to Uganda!

This is now more than known, that the Gold Refinery in Entebbe is a source of gold from Democratic Republic of Congo. Where the illicit gold export persists. This is a problem, where the state are not able to catch and the wealthy traders in Butembo/Bukavu bribe the local government associates. This here is showing how the President of Uganda and his family is involved in the illegal trading of gold. As the African Gold Refinery, which the First Family is owning is involved in. They are not transparent and for the reason, that the state doesn’t want to take responsibility for this trade.

“Several sources associated with gold trade told the Group that wealthy traders in Butembo and Bukavu or buyers in transit countries and Dubai financed the smugglers, enabling them to buy gold and transport it to foreign markets. Two sources directly involved in such transactions with gold traders based in Butembo told the Group that traders with no affiliation with the gold trade lent money to their bosses. The latter used the money in order to buy gold in Butembo. Traders who lent money were paid back in cash, either in Kampala or in Dubai, by those who received gold. The Group believes that circumventing the banking system through gold-based financial transactions generates a lack of transparency and violates the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force as reflected in Congolese legislation” (Final report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, P: 35-36, 2019).

“Uganda declared gold exports of 12,000 kg, but the United Arab Emirates said that it had received 21,044 kg of gold from Uganda” (…) “The Group noted that, at the time of writing, the authorities of Uganda had failed to send the Group the report of their investigations into the activities of Kampala-based gold traders, as officials had promised. On 16 January 2019, the Group met with representatives of African Gold Refinery Ltd. (AGR) at AGR premises in Entebbe, Uganda, and discussed in particular the fact that AGR had yet to provide the names of its suppliers to the Group” (Final report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, P: 36, 2019).

This is just verified reports from the United Nations Experts, whose investigated it. They have digging deeper. The Report is continuing to show how the state is benefiting of the illegal trade, as long as the Democratic Republic of Congo is missing it. They are being looted by illegal logging, trading, smuggling and not doing due diligence of the mineral resources produced there.

The Ugandan authorities doesn’t care that this is stolen and not verified, as the refinery is showing that they are not caring about the production or the proper protocol of the mineral production, as long as they are profiting from the illicit trade. This is the moral of the story, as the elites of Kampala are eating of the illegal trade. They are doing this and continuing to do so. Peace.

Update on Food Poisoning Investigations in Karamoja Region (27.05.2019)

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