National Oil and Gas Policy
The overarching goal of Uganda's National Oil and Gas Policy (NOGP), published by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development in February 2008, is for oil and gas development in Uganda to "contribute to early achievement of poverty eradication and create lasting value to society," as stated on the first page of the document.
The NOGP is a very important document, according to the non-governmental organization International Alert, and sets a high standard for the future governance of oil in Uganda. But it is more a set of principles than a detailed governance guide. Since its publishing in 2008, the government has sought to create legislation implementing the NOGP across different areas of policy, such as the upstream petroleum bill, which was enacted by Parliament in December 2012.
Areas of competence
The oil and gas policy covers both upstream and downstream ares, addresses areas of specific national interest, and incorporates various safeguards to avoid some of the negative aspects of oil and gas production. These areas include health and safety, environment, human resource development, institutional capacity building, prudent resource management, and fiscal and economic accountability, among others.
The NOGP explicitly recognizes many of the challenges associated with natural resource wealth, according to International Alert, including the need to mitigate the potential for negative economic and fiscal impacts that often stem from a sudden influx of revenue in the oil and gas sectors. It also highlights the need for a long term national strategy to ensure optimal impacts from oil and gas exploitation by maximizing benefits to Ugandans along the industry "value chain". The policy emphasizes the critical importance of transparency and accountability as guiding principles in Uganda’s future governance framework, and makes provisions for steps toward implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), though the provisions stop short of a full commitment to implementation.
The policy calls for several new institutions to be be established to assist the Ministry of Energy in policy making and monitoring and evaluation for the oil and gas sector. This includes a national oil company, a petroleum directorate and a petroleum authority. According to the NOGP the national oil company is to be charged with handling the state's commercial interests in the oil and gas sector, for example, state participation in the licences awarded to international companies and marketing the country's share of oil and gas production received in kind. The policy calls on the petroleum directorate to undertake licensing and the petroleum authority to be responsible for regulating the various players in the oil and gas subsectors.
Main article: Uganda National Oil Company (proposed)
Main article: Ugandan Petroleum Authority (proposed)
- "National Oil and Gas Policy for Uganda", Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, May 2011.
- "Oil and Gas Laws in Uganda", International Alert, May 2011.
- "Uganda Sets New Oil & Gas Policy, NOC to be Formed", Petroleum Africa, 14 February 2008.
- "Uganda | Transparency Snapshot", Revenue Watch Institute, retrieved 14 January 2013.