BY ROBERT KAMUKAMA
ENTEBBE, Uganda|SHIFTMEDIA|The official framework of the Lake Albert Development Project has been finalised following the signing of the Host Government Agreement for the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) between Uganda and Total.
The signing ceremony that was conducted at State House Entebbe was witnessed by Patrick Pouyanne, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Total who flew in the country midweek.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was present as the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Mary-Gorett Kitutu, signed on behalf of Uganda, while Nicolas Terraz, the Total Exploration and Production President for Africa, signed on behalf of his employer.
The signing of the agreement now represents significant progress towards achieving the Final Investment Decision which is expected by the end of this year.
President Museveni said the proceeds from oil will be used to further develop the country’s other important sectors like infrastructure, education and health.
“Our oil will be used to develop our infrastructure, and ICT to enhance durable capacity of our country,”Museveni said.
“I am glad that Total and other companies licenced in the country are taking bold steps to quickly commence the production of petroleum,” President Museveni said.
Museveni reassured the exploration company of government’s support during their work.
Museveni said Uganda is a rich country with oil as a small fraction of this natural wealth.
He pointed out that other potential lies in Agriculture, Tourism, Services, and Human Resource among others.
The President promised to get in touch with his Tanzanian counterpart, John Pombe Magufuli, to resolve other pending issues, especially concluding the Host Government Agreement in Tanzania.
“I congratulate Total and our Ugandan team on this milestone. We have been slow but steady and sure,” the President said.
Minister Kitutu said once the final investment decision is made by the oil companies, the opportunities for investment in the country will grow exponentially and give a boost to the economy.
She later said local companies should take advantage of this agreement to tap into opportunities in the oil sector.
Total CEO Pouyanne said this is a great achievement between the Total and the Government of Uganda.