April 9, 2018—The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) is considering leaving the window open indefinitely for applicants interested in signing onto the National Supplier Database (NSD) which at the moment only allows for stagnated limited periods before it closes again.
The next opening begins on September 1st, 2018 while the most recent one closed on March 31st, 2018.
“There are possibilities of keeping it open after September, because one of the biggest complaints we get as the Authority from the public, is that the NSD is only open briefly,” Emma Mugizi, the Senior Corporate Affairs Manager at PAU told participants at the recent Stanbic Enterprise Conference held in Kampala.
PAU is the regulator of Uganda’s budding oil and gas sector. While the NSD makes it easier for vendor and buyer to close deals with the least inconvenience, the process is also meant to encourage as much local content as possible in the emerging industry.
According to Mugizi, to date, 1000 applications have been received for individuals and companies interested in being on the list of pre-qualified contractors to serve the sector. However, there is no guarantee all applications are successful based on the relevant criteria used for different categories of service providers.
Verification usually takes two months from the day of submission of an application through the PAU website. Routine checks are made on the information submitted with other government agencies including the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), the Uganda Registration Services Board (URSB) and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) for Ugandan companies and consultation with foreign missions in the country for foreign companies.
According to PAU officials, the NSD gives the government a complete picture of the experience and capabilities of the qualified Ugandan and foreign companies in the petroleum sub-sector. This will enhance transparency in the procurement process and also provide a one stop database for procurement for licensed oil companies which makes the whole procurement process much shorter.
“We believe Ugandans can deliver many of the requirements for the oil and gas sector and that is why we are banking on the NSD. It also helps both local and foreign firms to form joint ventures,” Mugizi said. It is compulsory for any business servicing oil and gas firms to be registered on the NSD. She advised Ugandan companies to who want to gain from the oil and gas sector to ‘plan, prepare and perform’.
Muguzi said numerous opportunities are opening up at the Kibaale Industrial Park destined to become the services hub for the oil companies operating in western Uganda. Some 500 wells are expected to be developed within the next three to five years.