Uganda, yesterday, announced it has removed taxes on its oil, gas and mining industries in order to attract more private sector investment. Finance Minister Matia Kasaija told attendees of an oil conference in Kampala that investors will only be charged when they start production of oil. The convention was organized by the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) in collaboration with the Standard Chartered Bank, Zakhem International Construction and other petroleum firms.

The Ugandan government is seeking to boost the interest of oil exploration companies in the country’s burgeoning downstream sector, and the move already seems to be working. “These new developments give us a good platform to reexamine ourselves and reassess the potential of our oil and gas industry in relation to the general socio-economic outlook of the country” said Elly Karuhanga, the Chairman of Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) during a press briefing before the conference.

Uganda discovered oil and gas deposits in 2006 at the Lake Albert basin containing an estimated 6.5 billion barrels of oil. According to current projection, the deposits will fetch the government over $3 billion in annual revenue by 2020.

In February, the government lifted a 7 years moratorium on the issuance of oil mining licenses and announced its first-ever open bidding process for oil firms. The move opened the ground for more interested industry players to invest in the oil-rich Albertine Graben region.

By Tobi Eyinade

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