GOVT NEWS RELEASE
President Museveni, TZ Foreign Minister lay foundation in Bunyoro for Hoima – Tanga oil pipeline
President Yoweri Museveni and the Tanzanian Foreign Affairs Minister, Augustine Mahiga who represented President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, today laid the foundation stone at the starting point of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) in Hoima district.
The ceremony took place in Kabaale Parish, Buseruka Sub-County in Bunyoro Sub-Region where the first pumping station to transport crude oil to Tanga is to be constructed. Omukama Solomon Gafabusa Iguru of Bunyoro Kitara attended the ceremony.
President Museveni thanked the government of Tanzania for giving Uganda concession to enable the oil pipeline use the Tanga route and also for allowing Uganda to use their road reserves without any compensation. He urged Ugandans to tap into the available opportunities that come with the oil pipeline project in order to be employed.
The President revealed that it was his deliberate decision to train scientists for three years to specialize in the oil sector one of whom is Mr. Kabagambe Kaliisa, a Senior Presidential Advisor on Gas and Oil.
“In 1925, the colonial government began to look for oil but there were no results. In 1956, looking for oil was continued but still no results but in 1986, they sent me a Ghanaian economist who they said was an oil specialist but I discarded him because he was just an economist,” he said.
The President also noted that the roads along the route and the Albertine region would be completed in the next two years in order to make the project easier to implement.
On behalf of President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, the Tanzania Foreign Affairs Minister. Pombe Magufuli, Mr. Augustine Mahiga hailed President Museveni for being a true Pan Africanist, a humanitarian and following in the footsteps of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, former Tanzanian President, who was a determined robust leader and had the love for his country.
“In a span of 100 years, President Museveni will be the singular leader who will still stand out for having greatly contributed to Africa. He has the virtues of the late Nyerere which are love for the country, transparency, honesty and determination,” Mr. Mahiga said.
Minister Mahiga also said that when he was studying with Mr. Museveni from 1967 to 1969 in Dar-es-Salaam, he observed that Mr. Museveni was not only a gifted man with ideas but also had a quality of leadership that went beyond the Ugandan community. He added that it was President Museveni’s confidence that has made Uganda enjoy the fruits of liberation.
Mr. Mahiga noted that President Museveni’s determination to find the oil even when he had been told there was no possibility, had inspired the East African countries to be determined and invest in scientific studies at the universities.
He urged the people of East Africa to continue exploring the great land that has been given to them.
“The great inheritance of the Rift Valley is still hiding very many secrets. It could be thermo energy or spring water, you never know,” he added.
The Minister of Energy and Minerals, Hon. Irene Muloni, thanked Tanzania for the strong partnership with Uganda to commence a great developmental project that has made the venture be recognized by big oil companies including the Organization of Oil Producing Countries (OPEC).
She noted that so far 98% of the Ugandans who had originally settled in the areas where the pipeline would pass had already been compensated and some had been resettled. She added that the nine districts in the Albertine region – Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Lwengo, Kyankwanzi, Gomba, Rakai, Bulisa, Hoima and Kyotera – had already started benefiting from the proposed projects as roads are being planned for construction. She also reported that the crude oil refinery to be built in Hoima will have a capacity of 60,000 barrels per day.
Tanzania’s Energy and Minerals Minister, Dr Medard Kalemani saluted President Museveni for laying the foundation for the oil pipeline and his exceptional commitment towards the project. He thanked the President for giving Tanzania oil specialists who will assist them in exploring the prospective oil deposits in Lake Tanganyika and Lake Eyasi. He also disclosed that Tanzania is planning to extend its power grid that will in the process supply electricity to six neighbouring villages in Uganda. ENDS