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Bunyoro Kingdom starts planning for royalties

The King of Bunyoro, His Majesty Solomon Gafabusa Iguru displays a precious stone. The Kingdom hopes to use royalties to boost household incomes in the Region (Photo: Francis Mugerwa)

The King of Bunyoro, His Majesty Solomon Gafabusa Iguru displays a precious stone. The Kingdom hopes to use royalties to boost health, education and culture in the Region (Photo: Francis Mugerwa)

The oil-rich Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom is developing a list of priorities that will inform its spending once oil royalties start coming in, Oil in Uganda has learnt.

The Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Norman Lukumu, says the Kingdom has embarked on consultations with various stakeholders to build consensus on how oil royalties will be managed.

The Kingdom will receive one percent of the royalties the government will collect from oil sales as provided for in the Public Finance Management Act 2015.

“We see oil royalties as a key source of revenue for the Kingdom which we intend to use on various development projects,” explains Lukumu, adding that the Kingdom has a five year development plan. Lukumu says that the leading priorities for the kingdom are education, health, culture and infrastructure projects.

The Minister of State for Bunyoro Affairs, Earnest Kiiza, welcomed the consultations and pledged government’s support.

“As Government we appreciate the kingdom for prioritizing planning on how it will utilize the oil royalties. Prudent management and good use of oil revenues is important if oil is to benefit the present and future generations,” he said.

“Invest in people, not infrastructure”

Meanwhile, Bunyoro Kingdom has been advised to avoid duplicating projects that are being implemented by Government and other development partners and only invest in projects that will empower all its subjects.

Dr. Fred Muhumuza, a financial consultant and Senior Lecturer at Makerere University, advises the Kingdom to invest in technical aspects of education like training teachers, medical workers and certified mechanics as well as better agronomic practices and quality seeds.

He argues that development issues such as roads and power extension are the mandate of Government.

According to Muhumuza, the Kingdom needs to avoid investing in consumables and consider devoting part of the money to an endowment fund where future generations can also benefit from the royalties.

Report by our Hoima Correspondent

editor@oilinuganda.org