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Ex-dfcu boss Mathias Katamba to lead new UNOC Board

Mathias Katamba is the new Board Chairperson of Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC)

Kampala, (UG):- President Yoweri Museveni has appointed former dfcu Managing Director, Mr Mathias Katamba as chairperson of the new board at Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC).

Katamba, a seasoned economist and management expert replaces Emmanuel Katongole whose term ended last month without an extension of his eight-year reign at the statutory agency.

Katmaba, a graduate of Economics from the University of Greenwich in the UK served as the Managing Director of dfcu from January 2019 to January last year when he threw in the towel. He had previously served for five years as managing director of Housing Finance Bank, and before that, as chief executive officer of Finance Trust Bank.

Mr Museveni in a March 5 letter addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Anita Among also appointed five others to the UNOC Board for parliament vetting, a requirement envisaged in Section 41 of the Petroleum (Exploration, Development, & Production) Act.

The five appointees who join Katamba on the UNOC Board include; Mr Moses Kabanda, the acting commissioner for public administration in the Ministry of Finance; Mr Herbert Mugizi, a principal engineer in the Ministry of Energy; Dr Ivan Lule, a chemical engineer; Ms Justine Isenyi from the Vice President’s office, and Zulaika Kasajja Mirembe, a lawyer.

DailyExpress understands that the appointees were vetted last week by Parliament’s Appointments Committee chaired by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa.

“Parliament passed all of them last week. Now we are waiting for their instruments, then we can arrange the handover at the earliest possible,” said Mr Peter Muliisa, the UNOC head of legal and corporate affairs Tuesday adding that the new board will resume work at the earliest after receiving the instruments of power from the president.

The new board comes in the wake of several media reports alleging that the institution is beleaguered by dog fights, workplace toxicity, and influence peddling in the recruitment of senior staff, which was fodder for news late last week.

However, UNOC in a statement issued last week denied the claims of influence peddling in the recruitment of the said staff, saying it “remains committed to upholding the highest standards of transparency, integrity, and accountability in all its operations.”

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About UNOC

UNOC, wholly owned by the ministries of Energy (51 per cent) and Finance (49 per cent), is the statutory body mandated to manage the country’s commercial interests in the nascent oil sector, including marketing of the country’s share of petroleum received in kind, and to develop in-depth expertise in the oil and gas industry.

The Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) signed with the licensed international oil companies (IOCs) provide for the government’s participation through a carried interest of up to 15 per cent. 

UNOC carries this 15 per cent stake upstream in each of the nine production licences for the oil fields operated by China’s Cnooc and French TotalEnergies EP in Nwoya, Buliisa, Hoima, and Kikuube districts. 

Separately, the company through its subsidiary—Uganda Refinery Holding Company Limited (URHC)—carries Uganda’s 40 percent stake in the long shot 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery.

In January, it was announced that the government had tapped a United Arab Emirates’ Alpha MBM Investments, backed by SKA Energy FZE and SPEC Energy DMCC, to explore prospects of designing, financing, and constructing the $4b refinery.

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Downstream, the state-owned national oil company operates both the Jinja Storage Terminal, established in the 1970s by President Amin as the country’s reserves for petroleum products, and the proposed Kampala Storage Terminal (KST) in Kiringete Sub-county, Mpigi District.

The KST, also to be developed through a joint venture, will serve as reserves, especially for refined petroleum products from the refinery. UNOC estimates $300m (Shs1.1trillion) as the capital expenditure for the development of KST.

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