By our reporter
Elders from Ntungamo district national resistance Movement (NRM) elders league have petitioned government to rethink developing the oil pipeline to the cost of Tanzania and building of the refinery at the cost saying it will deprive Ugandans of jobs thus affecting the country’s economy.
Mr Frederick Rwabukwisi Rwabukuru the league’s chairman argued that processing Ugandan oil outside the country would be disastrous to the economy affecting development of oil related industries and leaving only petroleum products to be brought back to Uganda.
“We must not allow government to develop this pipeline to the East African cost. If we only look at petroleum and diesel then we are messing as a country. A country that is looking at job creation, industrial development and resource accumulation should be seeing refining oil here as a great advantage, we would lose everything to the cost if we refine it there. This is why I implore you as our representative in parliament, make sure this issue of pipeline development for crude oil is stopped,” he said.
He presented the petition to the area MP for Ntungamo Towncouncil Hon Gerald Karuhanga on September 7 Sunday at Mpama church of Uganda in Ntungamo Municipality after church service.
He said while the government may be short sighted on the oil industry development, the voices of citizens need to be heard and parliament should act responsibly to see that the country actually benefits from oil other than benefiting the neighboring countries more than it will benefit the country.
Hon Karuhanga says he is to table in parliament concerns over development of crude oil pipeline against development of an oil refinery in the country arguing that the current developments and commitment to develop pipeline is against the initial commitment for refinery development.
“W knew that government was committed to building a refinery but all of a sudden we are seeing they are more committed to develop a pipeline, the people have spoken and they have sent me to represent them. I will raise this issue on the floor of parliament as an issue of national importance and I hope it will be given due attention.” He said.He said he also believes that building a refinery in the country would be more profitable and contribute more to national development that having the pipeline that would see it refined kilometers away from the country.