January 9—The government will pay UGX3.5 million (about $950) per acre to owners of land designated for future oil infrastructure projects in Bullisa District, western Uganda after several rounds of negotiations over compensation. An oil processing facility is planned to be built on the land.
This now paves the way for Total E&P, the French oil company, to resume operations on the northern side of the Albertine Graben Region. Several rounds of negotiations had been taking place between the government and residents of Kasenyi Village Ngwendo sub-county where the new facility is be contructed.
According to sources who attended the latest meeting and spoke to 256BN, the talks were attended by senior officials from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Ministry of Lands and Urban Development, district leaders, alongside legislators from the region and parish representatives.
The sources said legislator Stephen Mukitare of Bullisa county had insisted during the often heated meeting that the affected people get a higher rate. A price tag of UGX20 million (nearly $5500) per acre was the initial asking price.
However government officials, especially those from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, expressed concern that the MP was merely inciting people against the project for political gain by insisting on a very high asking price.
Among the senior officials who attended the meeting included lands minister, Betty Among and Matia Kasaija the finance minister. The government wants oil production to start by 2020.