MPs Demand Ammendment to NEMA, UWA Acts

1820 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
This is contained in the draft report of the committee on the Petroleum Exploration, Development and Production bill, a copy of which URN has obtained.

MPs on the Natural Resources Committee have recommended the amendment of laws that establish and govern the operations of the National Environment Management Authority-NEMA and Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA. This is contained in the draft report of the committee on Petroleum Exploration, Development and Production bill, a copy of which URN has obtained.

The MPs argue that the capacities of both bodies and the Water Resources Management Directorate need to be enhanced to enable them to handle effectively issues in the environmentally sensitive Albertine Graben. The committee also calls for the establishment of the institutional frame work to enhance the capacity of Ugandans to harness the demographic changes accruing from oil exploration and production activities. The legislators also advise that for Ugandans to benefit from natural resources, government should enforce the provisions on local content in the Oil production sharing agreements.

The MPs also warn against secrecy with in the oil sector. They emphasise the need for the bill to advance openness and transparency to provide sufficient checks and balances before it’s passed into law. Comparing the situation to Ghana which also discovered vast oils in 2007, the MPs said the secrecy surrounding Uganda’s oil sector is not only unnecessary but also a threat to good governance.

While Ghana convened a national discussion involving all stakeholders and institutions, and publicly displayed PSA’s, some Ugandans have had to go to courts of law to gain access to the PSA’s. They also advise government to fairly, adequately and promptly compensate people and families displaced by the activities of oil exploration and development. The report on the bills which were tabled in February this year is scheduled to be debated in parliament this week.

 

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