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Uganda’s Energy Ministry passed a resolution urging it to expedite preparation of the country’s Oil Resource Law and the Revenue Management Law is working with a team of lawyers drafting the bills to ensure they conform to the laws of the land.
When queried about the Ministry’s delay in presenting the legislation Energy Ministry spokesman Bukenya Matovu told journalists, "We couldn't just sit, think and come up with a law. We had to first consult widely so that we bring something that will be beneficial. That's why we have taken this long," Kampala’s Daily Monitor newspaper reported.
Uganda energy policy currently operates under the 1985 Petroleum Exploration and Production Act, which was subsequently amended in 2000, but a number of MPs have observed that many provisions in the 1985 Act are inconsistent with the country’s 1995 Constitution and that new legislation is needed both to protect the nation from speculation by oil dealers and manage the country’s oil reserves for the benefit of future generations.
A secondary consideration to be addressed by the new legislation is corruption in the country’s energy sector. During a heated Parliamentary debate on oil issues, the legislative body in a unanimous decision put a moratorium on the executive branch not to implement oil contracts until the necessary legislation has been passed by Parliament.
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com