Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) has admitted to registering another company in Kenya under it’s name, and dispelled rumors about a “scheme by individuals registering a personal company to benefit from the proposed government plan to monopolize fuel imports.
This follows information which was brought to the parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources last week, indicating that individuals in Uganda were involved in a scheme to register UNOC as their personal company in Kenya, aiming to become the exclusive importers of petroleum products in Uganda.
UNOC is a limited liability company wholly owned by the Government of Uganda
Its overall function is to handle the Government of Uganda’s commercial interests in the petroleum sector and to ensure that the resource is exploited in a sustainable manner.
According to UNOC Head of Corporate Affairs Sarah Birungi Banage, UNOC registered a branch in Kenya recently, and the move is in compliant with regulations regarding importation of petroleum products.
This also follows the introduction of an amendment in the Uganda’s legislation on Petroleum Supply seeking to have UNOC as a sole importer of all petroleum products into the country.
While presenting the amendment in Parliament recently, the Minister of Energy, Ruth Nankabirwa, announced that starting in January 2024, all oil marketing companies in Uganda will be required to procure their fuel and gas products exclusively from UNOC.
According to government, this decision is intended to stabilize fuel supply within the country and reduce dependence on imports from Kenya. But during the committee proceedings last week in Parliament, West Budama South MP Emmanuel Otala raised a red flag about individuals who had registered “another” UNOC in Kenya as a personal company.
In a statement issued today November 13, 2023 Ms Sarah Birungi Banage clarified that it is common practice for businesses operating across countries to have companies register branches abroad using a certificate of incorporation issued in the country of incorporation.
She further clarified that the Kenya branch is in connection with government’s strategic decision to enhance it’s involvement to ensuring security of supply of petroleum products.
The statement asserts that whereas UNOC registered a branch in Kenya, the company shareholders and Board of Directors remain the same with operation’s oversight conducted in Uganda and Kenya.