High-Level Meeting Explores Collaboration between UPDF and UNOC for Uganda’s Oil and Gas Industry Success

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Senior officers from the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) and a delegation from the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) convened under the leadership of Chief of Defence Forces Gen. Wilson Mbadi to explore potential collaboration for Uganda’s oil and gas industry success.

Senior Officers from the UPDF and delegation from UNOC met in Mbuya headquarters on 18th September 2023 over the Oil Sector

Senior officers from the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) and a delegation from the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) met under the chairmanship of the Chief of Defence Forces Gen. Wilson Mbadi. The meeting’s main objective was to identify potential areas of collaboration between the two organisations for the success of Uganda’s oil and gas exploration journey.

The meeting was conducted in the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs’ Mbuya, Kampala, headquarters, and the UNOC team was led by Proscovia Nabbanja, the company’s chief executive officer, who has been instrumental in establishing the oil and gas industry in Uganda. There were nine people in it.

Gen Mbadi introduced the UNOC delegation and thanked them for their efforts in advancing the exploration of the oil and gas sector in Uganda. As he said, “UNOC is managing the country’s profound interest in the oil industry, which is in and of itself a critical resource, and its eventual extraction and refinery deeply depends on a stable and secure country. It has been a long journey and they can’t work alone.”

Gen. Mbadi asked attendees to consider opportunities for cooperation in the oil industry, particularly in the area of security, for the benefit of Ugandans and Africans in the quest of Pan-Africanism. According to Article 209 of the Uganda Constitution from 1995, which requires the UPDF to protect Uganda’s territorial integrity, work with civilian authorities in times of emergency, promote harmony and understanding between the UPDF and civilians, and take part in the nation’s economic development, the project is glaring from a security perspective and calls for cooperation. He made this observation.

The CDF urged UNOC officials to keep up their efforts to help Ugandans take advantage of the many job opportunities in the oil industry, including those in hospitality, construction, and transportation, among other fields; they claimed that doing so would reduce badmouthing and enhance their standard of living.

He further exhorted them to disseminate information on the oil resource throughout the nation and the region, noting that ideological coherence improves national security. It is challenging to defend something you don’t understand, but as you have explained, having knowledge about something inspires us to fight and safeguard the oil and gas business.

He reminded the delegation that there can be no development without security. Gen Mbadi, however, implored officials from UNOC to constantly update the masses with accurate information about the progress of the project, formalize a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on possible areas of collaboration on security, their Corporate Social Responsibility, and promised a guided tour of the pipeline, refinery and Kabalega Industrial Park; to acquaint Officers with knowledge of the project. “Now we believe that the oil and gas industry will trigger a domino effect on the military and stir economic development. We think this will be a game-changer in the social economic development of our country. We promise to play our role towards providing security for the project and encourage you (UNOC) to play yours too,” concluded the Chief of Defence Forces.

Nabbanja thanked the UPDF fraternity for helping to secure the nation and its borders during her address. She pledged to work in concert with all interested parties to ensure the oil and gas industry’s success. Even though certain interventions have been made, Nabbanja pointed out that terrorism, vandalism, fires, explosions, and oil spills are still possible risks to the business.

In an effort to develop local content for the project, she said that joint ventures have been encouraged, quarterly capacity-building sessions have taken hold, banks have been urged to offer suppliers low-interest loans, and oil modules have been included in the majority of training manuals.

Additionally, it was stated that the districts hosting the project and their traditional organisations would share their respective allegiances (income) with the government. The Joint Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Leopold Kyanda, Deputy Director of the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC), Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) Innocent Oula, Commander of the First Division, Brig. Gen. Joseph Ssemwanga, Director of Training, Brig. Twinamatsiko, and Chief Personnel and Administration, Brig. Gen. James Kinalwa, among other senior UPDF officers, were present during the meeting with the CDF.

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