The Deputy Chairperson of the National Resistance Movement Parliamentary caucus David Bahati has said that cabinet will review the public finance Bill currently before Parliament to settle the issue of royalties. The bill seeks to ensure prudent public financial management notably the management of the revenues accruing from the oil and gas industry.
Members of Parliament on the Parliamentary Forum of Oil and Gas-PFOG say they will work towards ensuring that there is transparency and accountability in the oil and gas sector in order to avoid the resource curse.
During its investigations, the committee discovered that government has already received 580 million US dollars from the sector through license fees, signature bonuses, taxes, royalties and state participation.
Experts on Ugandaâ€™s economy have questioned the usefulness of having billion of shillings saved in a foreign reserve fund while sections of the citizen continue to live in poverty, others dying due to lack of sufficient health care.
Five committees of parliament have been tasked to examine the Public Finance Bill before it comes up for the second reading and subsequent debate in the House. The bill which among others seeks to manage the revenues from oil resource was tabled last year and it was referred to the committee on finance for analysis.
Dr Ezra Suruma, who now works as a Presidential Advisor on Finance and Economic Planning, said his experience shows that the country currently has no institutions with the capacity to properly manage public funds. He cited the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM), the recent Identity Cards project and Global Fund scandals where billions of shillings was misappropriated, as examples to show that the oil revenue could also be wasted.