Consortium agrees to commission studies on Uganda oil spin-offsEmma Mugisha, Stanbic Bank Executive Director, Sarah Ssewanyana, Executive Director for EPRC, Ernest Rubondo, Executive Director for Petroleum Authority of Uganda and Mona Muguma-Ssebuliba, Chief Executive for aBi Finance display copies of their agreement.
A consortium of five organizations on Thursday commissioned two studies to define business opportunities in the agriculture, and housing sectors linked to Uganda’s emerging oil and gas economy. This follows announcement of the, to Final Investment Decision (FID) for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) together with the Tilenga and Kingfisher oil development projects.
The Consortium of partners includes Stanbic Bank Uganda, aBi Finance, the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), Stanbic Properties Limited, and the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), the government agency that monitors and regulates the exploration, development, production, together with refining, transmission, and storage of petroleum in Uganda.
Emma Mugisha, the Stanbic Bank Executive Director said: “The signing of these agreements today couldn’t have come at a better time when government has just announced the Final Investment Decision on EACOP, opening the stage to opportunities worth billions of shillings. However, while all this is exciting news, it is important for local investors to be guided by research to help them make informed investment decisions. We are therefore pleased to be part of the solution and looking forward to helping Ugandans get the most of agriculture sector opportunities linked to the oil and gas economy.”
In one of the agreements, Stanbic Bank, aBi Finance, and PAU have agreed to collectively invest over UGX350 million to contract the services of EPRC “to define the linkages between agriculture and the oil and sector.
Mona Muguma-Ssebuliba, Chief Executive, aBi Finance said, “We are always supportive of initiatives that offer improved profitability, income and employment of Ugandan farmers and development of agribusinesses. When finished, the study will hopefully guide in future as to where aBi can make interventions that create the most positive impact for farmers in the vicinity of the oilfields.”
The study is expected to estimate the current and future demand and supply, assess status of standards, as well as active agricultural enterprises with potential to harness capacity to ably absorb emerging opportunities linked to the oil and gas economy which is expected to drive demand as the country enters production phase.
Ernest Rubondo, PAU Executive Director said, “Once completed, the study will be a very useful item in our policy tool-kit. As the regulator, we are always looking out for ideas that ensure greater local participation in the oil and gas sector. The supply of foodstuffs is one area where local farmers can become key players. However, this will require them to commercialize their farming methods, particularly by getting together and forming partnerships amongst themselves to benefit from economies of scale that enable higher output to meet the expected high demand.”
Based at Makerere University, EPRC is think-tank specializing in economics and development policy-oriented research and analysis aimed at supporting the formulation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of government policies.
In the second agreement, PAU has contracted Stanbic Properties Uganda Limited to ‘undertake a baseline study and project the future supply and demand of housing, cost and availability of land, cost and availability of building materials and housing preferences and delivery systems in the Albertine region.’
Stanbic Properties will also analyze the strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, risks, and threats in the housing market in the Albertine region and the identified EACOP districts, to establish the current feasible incentives along the housing value chain provided by government, non- government entities and the private sector which can complement investment.
“We are excited to embark on this important work on behalf of PAU. Our scope is clear—-study the real estate market and analyze all real estate segments (Residential, Office, Retail, Hotel and Industrial) in the 10 EACOP districts; these include Hoima, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Gomba, Sembabule, Lwengo, Kyotera and Rakai as well as the neighboring districts of Masindi and Pakwach. The study will focus on the following areas,” Spencer Sabiiti , the Stanbic Properties Chief Executive said.
In the agreement, Stanbic Properties has also committed to undertaking studies to help identify areas with land available for housing development and the modalities of land acquisition by investors; and to develop a housing strategy action plan with costed measures, an implementation road map, and an implementation process map for the realization of identified opportunities.