July 15, 2012 (JUBA) - The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, on Saturday warned his African counterparts to avoid any form of
manipulation likely to come from oil companies who seek "unfair" agreements to exploit African resources.
Museveni, the state owned New Vision reported, made these remarks while addressing a panel of African Peer Review Mechanism in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, during ongoing the 19th African Union (AU) summit for member states.
According to the Ugandan leader, who spoke as the panel was reviewing Uganda’s performance, there have been attempts by oil companies to get oil exploitation agreements from his government.
He specifically cited a case in which some oil companies were reportedly opposed to the establishment of a refinery in Uganda, arguing that it would not be profitable because other East African countries have also discovered oil.
"It has been a real fight. They opposed the refinery because oil has
been found in Southern Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania, saying that there will be no local market," Museveni reportedly said, while adding that he rejected the pressure because the population of Uganda is increasing and more Ugandans are acquiring vehicles.
The Ugandan leader also warned African heads of states to be aware of a tendency oil companies reportedly employ of under-declaring the percentage of oil that is a capable of being exploited from ground.
"Another trick oil companies apply is the under-declaring of the percentage that can be exploited from the ground," he noted.
Museveni urged his counterparts to invest in training local personnel from their respective countries, whom he said can effectively carry out the proper assessment of underground oil that cannot be exploited.
South Sudan’s leader, Salva Kiir on 9 July announced that his country had embarked on the construction of a refinery in Upper Nile State, while construction is expected to commence in Unity State soon. He did not, however, elaborate much on the development, which is likely to resolve the country’s oil crisis, worsened by the January’s shut down of its oil production over disputes with Sudan.