Stanbic Bank Hosts Oil and Gas Conference for Local Content Providers

Stanbic Bank, Uganda’s leading financial institution, hosted the 4th Oil and Gas Local Content Conference at the Kampala Serena Hotel in partnership with the Association of the Oil and Gas Service Providers (AUGOS), the Ministry of Energy, MMAKS Advocates and Deloitte.

The conference organized under the theme “Repositioning local service providers for the next phase of oil developments” was held to give industry players a platform to exchange ideas, gain insights into the sector, look into possible opportunities and examine the standards required for local suppliers within Uganda’s budding Oil and Gas sector.

With recent government-led initiatives such as passing of enabling laws and regulations, issuance of remaining production licenses, operationalisation of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda and launching the Hoima-Tanga pipeline FEED, more opportunities have opened up for local businesses.

“The country had reached a critical phase in the development of the Oil and Gas sector as it transitions from the exploration to commercial phase. To be relevant and competitive in the next phase of Uganda’s upstream development, local companies must take a long term view towards investments and plan a lot more strategically.” Edwin Mucai, Stanbic Bank Head of Corporate and Business Banking said while making a presentation at the opening of the conference.

“This will involve making improvements to their contracts management processes, financial planning and assessments of their human resource capabilities”. Mucai said.

In the run-up to the conference, Emmanuel Mugarura, the AUGOS CEO said the conference would give local providers the opportunity to network with the International Oil Companies and discuss ways to allow them to benefit more from the oil industry.

The issue of local content and how to increase local participation within the Oil and Gas sector has hitherto been a subject of contention, with many local providers raising concerns about being side-lined by the independent oil companies when contracts are given out.

“Though not passed into an independent law, National Local Content regulations are in place and embedded within the Oil and Gas Policy, in the Production Sharing Agreements. They are also in the up-stream and mid-stream laws that require oil firms to employ Ugandans and have ring-fenced certain activities for local service companies.” Ibrahim Kasita, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Energy and Minerals said.

Kasita also revealed that so far, more than 1,000 local enterprises have been able to provide services such as logistics, transport and medical services. “The percentage of contracts awarded to Ugandans in 2009 was 17%, but by 2016 this figure stood at 36% so some progress is being made.” he explained

Global studies show that if implemented effectively, an increase in local content can stimulate broad-based economic development, which is necessary to alleviate poverty, achieve prosperity and ensure sustainable economic and social outcomes.

Patrick Mweheire, the Chief Executive of Stanbic noted that the bank had already been working closely with many of the local players within the Oil &Gas ecosystem

“Stanbic has been involved in financing the development of key elements of infrastructure such as roads where local suppliers have been subcontracted by larger international companies. Our objective as a bank is to be in position to provide tailor-made financial solutions right across the Oil and Gas value chain providing transactional instruments, credit facilities and specialized financial support that will allow the local companies to get a foothold in the industry”. Mweheire said.

The guest speaker for the event was Tonye Tamuno the President/CEO of Primetek Nigeria. Tonye has over 22 years of experience in project management for turn-key projects for the Oil and Gas sector.

He presented a strategic paper on the challenges Nigeria and the oil industry in general faced when local content was ignored and how the sector and economy bounced back after the government made it a priority.

Tricia Ishimwe