Uganda’s opposition political party -Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) have expressed support for all efforts in fastracking extraction and sale of Uganda’s oil as opposed to any form of delay, saying such cannot be tolerated.
FDC’s position comes amid mixed reactions in the public following adoption of a resolution by European Union parliament to halt the planned East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project which will facilitate export of Uganda’s oil to buyers abroad. A section of politicians including NUP’s Robert Kyagulanyi have expressed support for the EU decision while others say it is biased and intended to delay Uganda’s prospects of exploiting its natural resource.
Speaking during the weekly press conference, the FDC party spokesperson Semujju Nganda also said they support the construction of the oil pipeline, the oil refinery and all other infrastructure put in place by government to ensure extraction and sale of Uganda’s oil at the earliest time possible.
“The country has invested heavily in the oil sector and cannot afford delay of its sale” Nganda said.
“We have invested EUR 309,100,259 in the construction of an international airport and $500million in roads. We have paid billions in compensation and invested heavily in the provision of electricity…” Nganda added but also emphasizing the need for transparency in Uganda’s oil sector.
The EU parliament raised environmental concerns related to the ecosystem where the pipeline will be constructed but also human rights violations by the Ugandan government meted on members of Civil Society groups as well as locals affected by the Project.
FDC however says Uganda’s oil shouldn’t be treated as if it belongs to the ruling NRM party or anyone’s project. They say every opinion or information on the process to extract the oil must be respected and considered if it brings any benefits to Ugandans.
“This is a national resource that must be managed transparently. People black or white must be free to speak about it” he said.
Nganda stated that FDC appreciates the EU parliament for the resolutions made and said the party’s research department will follow them up.